Laguna Niguel: protected by the surf industry

The Surf Industry Manufacturers Association (SIMA) has raised more than $6.2 million for environmental groups, in the past 23 years.

The official working trade association of more than 300 surf industry suppliers, founded in 1989, has been supporting organizations that protect the world's oceans, beaches and waves.

The 23rd Annual Waterman’s Weekend, held at the Ritz-Carlton, in Laguna Niguel, raised more than $400,000 to help defend surf breaks locally in Orange County and around the world.

"This year, we are extremely honored to pay tribute to Shane Dorian, Jean-Michel Cousteau and the much loved, late Sean Collins as they are members of our tribe who have helped change the face of our sport, industry and ocean environment", explains Paul Naude, SIMA Environmental Fund President.

Big wave surfer Shane Dorian was crowned "Waterman of the Year", while world renowned ocean explorer Jean-Michel Cousteau took the "Environmentalist of the Year" award.

Sean Collins, revolutionary wave forecaster, got the "2012 Lifetime Achievement Award", for their powerful influence on the sport, culture and business of surfing.

All funds raised will go directly to supporting specific programs of 20 non-profit environmental organizations that address water quality and ocean pollution issues, defend beaches and surf breaks from development, and provide public education on ocean conservation.

Beneficiaries include Surfrider Foundation, Ocean Institute, WildCoast, Heal the Bay, Orange County CoastKeeper, Surfing Education Association, Alaska Wilderness League, Seymour Marine Discovery Center, Algalita Marine Research Foundation, Save the Waves Coalition, Reef Check and many other institutions.