Protect Our Waves: surfing in the UK is under threat

Surfers Against Sewage (SAS) has launched a petition to call for better protection of waves and beaches from marine litter, over-development and sewage pollution.


British surfing waves are under threat from a growing number of activities around the coastline that can hamper or have long term devastating impacts on some of the most prized surfing beaches.

Waves are under threat from three sources: new structures and developments, pollution including sewage and litter, and restricted access.

Multiple surf breaks around the UK are currently under extreme threat with many more subject to lesser, but escalating, degrees of threat. No specific laws exist in the UK to protect surf spots.

According to the water industry itself, the number of Combined Sewer Overflow (CSOs) around the UK is around 31,000. Many of these are completely unregulated.

The UK's world-class south coast surf spot Broad Bench is off limits for up to 228 days a year. The amount of marine litter found on UK beaches has increased almost two-fold in the last fifteen years.

In the UK, there are four types of surf spots: beach, reef, point break and river mouth. There are over 500,000 regular surfers in the UK. In a 2007 Defra survey, the economic value of the surf retail sector only was estimated at £200million annually.

Sign the "Protect Our Waves" petition.