- 27 May 2009 | Environment
The Orange County League of Conservation Voters recently awarded their annual environmental leadership awards at the University of California, Irvine University Club.
On behalf of the entire surf industry, the Surf Industry Manufacturers Association (SIMA) accepted the Environmental Business of the Year Award for the industry’s efforts to save San Onofre State Park and the world-famous Trestles Beach by helping stop the proposed 241 Toll-Road. The prestigious award was accepted by Paul Naude, SIMA Environmental Fund Chairman and CEO of Billabong USA.
“I am honored to accept this award on behalf of SIMA members, the surf industry, and beyond that - all surfers,” said Naude. “Being a surfer means you automatically assume the role of being a good steward of the ocean. For SIMA, not only does the very livelihood of our businesses thrive off the preservation of the ocean, but our passion for surfing does as well.”
The surf industry was a key component in the fight to stop the 241 Toll-Road through Southern Orange County. SIMA member companies and surfers alike dominated the 241 Toll-Road Coastal Commission and Secretary of Commerce hearings with a strong voice in opposition of the Toll-Road.
The industry also demonstrated their support by supplying bus transportation to the hearings and with financial contributions to environmental organizations, such as the Surfrider Foundation and the Sierra Club’s Friends of the Foothills campaign.
The award also celebrated SIMA’s commitment to the environment with the efforts of the SIMA Environmental Fund. Over the past 19 years, SIMA has donated more than $4.4 million in grants to various environmental organizations that are dedicated to preserving and protecting the world’s oceans, beaches and waves.
The award comes at a fitting time as the SIMA Environmental Fund is preparing for the 20th annual SIMA Waterman’s Ball, as well as the 9th annual Waterman’s Classic on August 6 – 7, 2009.
Waterman’s Weekend is the official fundraising event for the SIMA Environmental Fund and will raise funds for 18 ocean conservation organizations. Waterman’s Weekend is also a time to honor and celebrate those who have made significant contributions to the surf industry.
This year SIMA will honor surfing icon Rob Machado as Waterman of the Year, surfer and enviro-warrior Dave Rastovich as Environmentalist of the Year, and the incomparable late industry leader Dick Baker with the 2009 Lifetime Achievement Award.