- 22 October 2013 | Environment
Surfers Against Sewage campaigners will deliver the "Protect Our Waves" petition to No. 10 Downing Street, representing the call of 55,000 surfers for better protection of UK waves, oceans and beaches.
The surf NGO will be accompanied by double Brit Award winner Ben Howard, alongside with a new economic survey highlighting the £1.8 billion value of UK surfing.
The focus of the petition is a call for amendments to legislation to better control sewage pollution, marine litter and damaging coastal developments and industry.
"Coupled with the astonishing economic data released on the value of surfing to the UK, there is a clear case to say that surfing in sewage, walking over tide lines of trash to access a wave or developers damaging waves without consideration is simply just not acceptable", says Hugo Tagholm, SAS Chief Executive.
"We look forward to working with MPs to deliver the solutions to better protecting surf spots for all to use safely and sustainably".
There are approximately 31,000 Combined Sewer Overflows (CSOs) around the UK. These CSOs discharge untreated human sewage and storm water after periods of rain or when the sewerage system fails.
In the 2013 dry bathing season, there were 549 untreated human sewage discharges from CSOs across the 250 beaches included in SAS's Sewage Alert Service.
The amount of marine litter found on UK beaches has increased by almost two-fold in the last fifteen years. A plastic bottle, if left on the beach, could persist for more than 450 years.