Beach cleaning: kiteboarders do it well

As a great eco-citizen weekend of global scale, dealing with the problem of macro-waste and dedicated to the protection of our coast, our lakes and our rivers, the Ocean Initiatives weekend 2010 took part this past weekend from March 18th to 21st. Initiated by the “Surfrider Foundation Europe” the event motivated hundreds of beach clean ups around the world with the goal to educate local people and kids about the pollution of our waterways and to raise awareness. The Ocean Initiatives event has been organized for the past 15 years and finds more and more supporters every year.

A great example was set by some of the PKRA world cup riders and the local staff of the Intercontinental Hua Hin Resort Kiteboarding World Cup in Thailand when they all joined the Ocean Initiatives weekend with a beach clean up at 8.00 am on Saturday the 20th of march. While the meeting point was the competition site, a large area of Hua Hin’s beach was cleaned when a total of 33 motivated beach-cleaners split into 2 groups to collect trash to the left and the right of the world cup area. Even a waste truck followed the diligent trash collectors to relieve them of their heavy burdens whenever their bags were filled up.

With an immense oversupply and usage of plastic bags presenting a big problem in Thailand and most parts of Asia it was no surprise that many plastic bags were collected during the clean up. Quickly it became clear that straws and plastic cups are also a serious threat to Thailand’s environment as they were the main trash items collected along the beach. It seems that while Thai coconuts are a delight in one way they are a curse in another as plastic straws are used for the countless number of coconuts consumed.

The Hua Hin clean up was also supported by the town’s mayor who came to the beach to thank everyone that had participated. In his speech he made clear to the local people how important it is to keep oceans and beaches clean and to take actions towards a cleaner environment. Both, the mayor and the riders that had joined the clean up set a great example for the people in Hua Hin and might just make a difference to the future of the town and their pollution problems.

Co-organizing this clean up marked Kristin Boese’s first project for the “Surfrider Foundation Europe” for which she officially became an ambassador just 2 weeks ago. Becoming very aware of the problems that the pollutions of oceans, beaches and rivers poses during her travels around the world Kristin wanted to help the environment as much as she possibly could and when launching KB4girls, a non-profit clinic tour for female kiteboarders, put a lot of thought into how to support female kiteboarders and the environment at the same time. Getting together with “Surfrider Foundation Europe” offered a great opportunity for both parties.

Kristin Boese says: “I was looking for a way to do something positive for our oceans and beaches with KB4girls and as I had heard of the great work of the Surfrider Foundation I got in contact with them to see how I could help. From the beginning they were very open and I am honored to have become an ambassador for such a great Foundation. While the beach clean up in Thailand was my first project with them, Surfrider Foundation Europe will supply educational materials for all our KB4girls events and in return we will donate the registration fees to them. I am very positive that together we will raise a lot of awareness about the water pollution around the world and hopefully inspire kiteboarders and local people to change their environmentally unhealthy patterns.”

Xavier Giamporcaro, Partnership and Development project manager of Surfrider Foundation Europe: “Surfrider Foundation Europe’s aim is to defend oceans, coastline, waves and the people who enjoy them. As a kiteboarder, Kristin Boese is well aware of water pollution as she spends most of her time in the water. Joining Surfrider as and ambassador, Kristin will support our educational campaigns and help us keep the oceans clean by raising awareness on the beaches around the world. We at Surfrider warmly welcome her!”

Sincere thanks go out to everyone that was involved in the clean up and made a difference on the beach of Hua Hin and the local people.


SOURCE: Kristin Boese