Despite one’s slant vis-a-vis self-labeling as an “environmentalist,” there isn’t a surfer alive that’d be keen to paddle out at their favorite spot while a gushing pipe spews sewage into the water. At every surfer’s core, there’s a desire to protect the places they play for purely selfish reasons. Because, well, polluted water is either going to result in illness or preclude a person from surfing at all, neither of which are good for upping wave count.
Until recently, individual surfers and beachgoers didn’t have much to work with if they noticed something serious threatening the sanctity of their local. Apart from telling friends, maybe posting about it on Twitter or Facebook, or doing some research and alerting an organization or government agency that could act, there wasn’t much more concerned citizens could do.
Recently, though, Save The Waves – the good folks behind world surfing reserves and other projects protecting surf breaks around the world – launched an app that bridges the gap between surfer and organization.
The way it works is simple: if a user notices something strange at a spot, they document it, geotag it, and the data goes to organizations that can do something about it.
“We are super excited about this project because it means that every surfer can make a difference at their spot,” said Save The Waves Executive Director, Nik Strong-Cvetich. “Right now we want to get this out in the world and gather as much data as possible, as well as getting everyone’s feedback to make this app better. We are also soliciting partners who want to receive this data from our users.”
According to a recent press release, the goals of this initiative are simple. Save The Waves hopes to “educate, mobilize the surfing community on key issues facing coastlines, to protect the places they love by helping local agencies prioritize areas, and fill gaps in coastal data.”
The app is currently available in the app store and is seeking user feedback before its official launch on June 21 at Save The Waves Life Is a Wave gala. Users who also take this survey reporting their experience will receive a free Pela Case for their efforts. To learn more about the app click here.