The Surf Industry Manufacturers Association (SIMA) Environmental Fund announced today the 16 ocean-environmental organizations that have been named as beneficiaries of the 2007 Waterman’s Weekend, the surf industry’s annual environmental fundraiser.
SIMA aims to raise a milestone fundraising amount of $500,000 at the 2007 Waterman’s Weekend. All proceeds will be distributed in the form of SIMA Environmental Fund grants to the 13 returning and three new beneficiary groups.
The 16 ocean-environmental organizations will dedicate those funds to programs that will address water quality and ocean pollution issues, defend beaches and surf breaks from development or provide public education about ocean conservation.
“The SIMA Environmental Fund’s focus is on funding and supporting ocean-based environmental concerns,” said Paul Naude, chairman of the SIMA Environmental Fund Board of Directors and CEO of Billabong USA. “In selecting beneficiaries we have targeted groups that best protect the ocean environment, and cover a broad spectrum from educational to activist – from groups with a local focus to those with national and international programs.
For 18 years now the surf industry has committed to preserving and enhancing the ocean environment through Waterman’s Weekend, and this year we hope to show even stronger support in a time when our playgrounds – whether it’s Trestles or the North Shore – face even more threats. The work done by these organizations is essential because even as environmental battles are being won there are countless others that need our ongoing support.”
Following is a list of the 2007 SIMA Environmental Fund grant recipients along with a description of the program(s) to which the organizations will be directing their grants:
Grant will enable efforts to save, improve and protect surf locations, protect the quality of water in the surf zone, ocean environmental education, as well as a specific portion of the grant dedicated to the fight to save Trestles.
Grant will support the Watershed Education Program designed for students for hands-on education about the environmental impact of their behaviors.
Dedicated funds will support continued efforts to save surf breaks in Baja California from development, to launch a clean water action plan and to continue the campaign to preserve Trestles.
Heal the Bay
Funds will support TMDL research and advocacy programs to ensure that Los Angeles area waterbody quality regulations conform to the clean water act, as well as to develop and train a speaker’s bureau to conduct environmental presentations to a variety of community groups.
Orange County CoastKeeper
Grant will support efforts to reduce the health threats caused by urban runoff pollution in Orange County, Calif., through advocacy, enforcement, education and water monitoring efforts.
Surfing Education Association
Dedicated funds will be used to prevent destructive legislation from being passed that would threaten surfing sites at Waikiki Beach and other surfing areas on Oahu.
Alaska Wilderness League
Dedicated funds will help protect sensitive marine and coastal areas offshore of the Arctic Refuge from oil exploration or development.
Seymour Marine Discovery Center
Funds will be used to educate young people about the role marine science plays in understanding and conserving the world’s oceans through a variety of educational programs and camps.
Algalita Marine Research Foundation
Funds will be used to support the distribution of the Watershed Wonders DVD and curriculum program for junior and senior high schools to educate students about the harmful effects of non-biodegradable plastic debris on marine life.
Save the Waves Coalition
Funds will assist in the distribution of Lost Jewel of the Atlantic, a documentary intended to raise awareness of the threats to Madeira, Portugal’s sacred surf spots. Funds will also assist with a research program to determine the strength and economic value of the global surf travel industry.
Funds will be used for the continued expansion of programs into Southern California, continued global reef monitoring, and educational events designed to create awareness of the importance of reef conservation.
KAHEA: The Hawaiian-Environmental Alliance
Funds will be used to build a coalition of activists to promote the protection of Hawaii’s coral reefs and to support ocean protection issues including securing protection of the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands, gill nets and cruise ship regulations.
SINADES: Natural Systems and Development Civil Association
Funds will be used to empower a group of local youth in Todos Santos to conserve and protect the community’s most important resources – the beaches and surf breaks of Todos Santos and Pescadero, B.C. S., Mexico.
Friends of the Foothills (New beneficiary for 2007)
Funds will be used exclusively for litigation and legal activities battling the expansion of the 241-toll road and the fight to save Trestles.
Santa Barbara Channelkeeper (New beneficiary for 2007)
Funds will assist with stormwater/urban runoff pollution advocacy to ensure implementation of strong stormwater management programs, and marine education programs for students.
North Shore Community Land Trust (NSCLT) (New beneficiary for 2007)
Funds will be to permanently protect Pupukea Paumalu and the local waters, community stewardship of public beach access, and other efforts to preserve Oahu’s North Shore.
Each organization was chosen by the SIMA Environmental Fund Board of Directors based on their commitment of funds to specific projects that will protect and preserve oceans, beaches and/or surf breaks. In selecting the 2007 SIMA Environmental Fund grant recipients, the SIMA Environmental Fund Board of Directors requested that applicants submit a proposal detailing how the funds would be used to improve the ocean ecology or surf locations.
Each organization’s proposal included a description of the specific program that the grant would be directed to, including a justification of the program and expected environmental impact.
The SIMA Environmental Fund is a charitable foundation formed by the surf industry to provide support in the form of grants to environmental organizations. The annual Waterman’s Weekend serves as the primary fundraiser for the SIMA Environmental Fund through the Waterman’s Classic Golf Tournament and Waterman’s Ball and Auction.
This year’s Waterman’s Classic will take place on Thursday, August 23 at the Monarch Beach Golf Links. The Waterman’s Ball and Auction will be held Friday, August 24 at The St. Regis Monarch Beach Resort & Spa in Dana Point, California.
In addition to raising money for the environment, the Waterman’s Ball will be the venue for the surf industry to honor women’s surf icon Lisa Andersen as SIMA Waterman of the Year, Pearl Jam’s Eddie Vedder as SIMA Environmentalist of the Year, surf contest guru Randy Rarick with the Lifetime Achievement Award, and world champions Kelly Slater and Layne Beachley with a Special Achievement Award.