Throughout the Click & Pledge Foundation’s Project Ocean production, we are using each month to spotlight our nonprofit participants. We are kicking things off with Save The Waves from Santa Cruz, California.
Save The Waves is dedicated to protecting surf ecosystems around the world, and they are doing so through a coalition of people from all walks of life. Here’s a short Q&A to get to know them better!
What does it mean to Save The Waves to be celebrating 20 years this summer?
It’s an amazing accomplishment for us to celebrate our 20th anniversary. It represents a lot of growth, progress, partnerships and victories. We’ve come a long way since our founding in 2003, when Save The Waves was created to stop the destruction of a single wave in Madeira. Now, we’re actively protecting, stewarding and defending waves all across the globe.
What advice would you give other nonprofits in terms of how to survive and thrive over multiple decades?
Every nonprofit has their role and their mission. The most satisfying wins for Save The Waves have come from moments when our role was bigger than ourselves, or to be part of something bigger. When you make collaboration a key value of your organization, that collaboration has the opportunity to be greater than the sum of its parts. That’s thriving as an organization.
Why is it important, even for a non-surfer, to care about preserving surf ecosystems?
Surf ecosystems aren’t just for surfers. The ways in which we interact with the ocean are numerous! Paddling, swimming, beach combing, boating – even walking along the shore – are activities that are preserved by protecting a surf ecosystem.
What kinds of actions does preserving a surf ecosystem consist of?
Save The Waves’ biggest program and impact is in our World Surfing Reserve and Surf Protected Area Network programs. Through these programs, we’re working to proactively protect surf breaks, coastlines and surf ecosystems before they are being actively threatened.
What gives surfers such a unique position to advocate for the ocean?
Because surfing is such an immersive experience, your passion for riding a wave also extends to the environment around it.
Describe the app that you created that is now in 35 countries and how it is helping the cause.
The Save The Waves App is a mobile tool to track and report coastal threats in real-time. Surfers, beach-goers and ocean lovers are empowered to become citizen scientists and contribute crucial information about our coastlines that will lead to better protection and find solutions. You take a photo, select a threat, tag your location and submit. It’s that easy to take action and become a voice for the places you love.
Save The Waves set a goal to protect 1,000 surf ecosystems around the world by 2030. We look forward to watching and supporting the continued impact of this dedicated organization, and we are proud to be partners!