Pease Bay

This year, Surfers Against Sewage (SAS) asked all UK water companies if they had any plans to reduce their sewage treatment outside the bathing season (May – September). Outside the bathing season is usually the best period for surf in the UK and reducing sewage treatment increases the health risks for surfers and waveriders.

When SAS asked Scottish Water if they planned to reduce their sewage treatment, thus increasing the health risk to surfers and waveriders, they replied with “It is not a question of switching off treatment outside the bathing season, but rather switching on extra treatment during it”.  Just how stupid do they think we are?

Pease Bay is one of the places Scottish Water plan to reduce the levels of sewage treatment outside the bathing season.  It is also one of Scotland’s most popular surfing breaks, consistently producing its best surf from September to April, and therefore is most heavily used outside the bathing season.

SAS is urging the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA) to carry out a survey on water user numbers and investigate the risk to their health by Scottish Water’s actions as this bathing season finishes. 

Until SEPA have conducted a comprehensive survey into user numbers and the impacts of reducing sewage treatment at Pease Bay, SAS are calling on SEPA to ensure Scottish Water provide a clean and safe environment for Scottish water users and treat the sewage discharge at Pease Bay to the highest level (UV disinfection, tertiary treatment).
SAS applaud water companies all over the UK who are trying to reduce their carbon footprint, however, this cannot come at the cost of increased health risks for surfers and waveriders.  SAS are calling on water companies to generate clean and sustainable energy through their sewage treatment process and embrace new technologies that will allow them to harness more of this energy and increase efficiency. 

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‘Making Beaches Barefoot Friendly’

Surfers Against Sewage’s (SAS) ‘Making Beaches Barefoot Friendly’ tour supported by Barefoot Wine was a great success, eclipsing last year’s fantastic effort. With the help of 600 SAS supporters we removed more than 2 tonnes of litter from the 6 beaches we visited, including:  

Newquay, (Fistral’s South End) on 29th July
Croyde (Baggy Point End) on 30th July
Bournemouth (By Bournemouth Pier) on 31st July
Llangennith (Hill End Campsite) on 1st August
Saltburn-by-Sea (By the pier) on 2nd August
Brighton (NIVEA SUN Yellowave Beach Sports Venue, Madeira Drive) on 3rd August

Regional round ups:

NEWQUAY was hit by torrential rain, but over 40 volunteers picked up over 160kgs of litter.  We even found a shopping trolley!  Everyone was drenched but spirits were high and the effort was appreciated.

CROYDE was sunny and thanks to the local surf club, our local SAS Rep Mikey Corker of Loose Fit Surf Shop and Surf South West Surf School, was the best attended with over 250 beach cleaners.  Even though Croyde is cleaned regularly our army of supporters found paving slabs, cookers and lots of broken glass as well as the usually plethora of plastics.  More than 500kgs were collected.

BOURNEMOUTH, as was the case last year, was full of cigarette butts.  Cigarette butts take 15 years to break down as they are made from 12,000 plastic fibres. 1 cigarette butt can pollute 3 litres of seawater.  The 40 volunteers only picked up 65kgs but we removed thousands upon thousands of cigarette butts during the clean 

LLANGENNITH was where we picked up the most litter.  Just under 100 volunteers picked up over 800kgs of rubbish, including 3 car wheels and a burnt lump of fishing net that was too heavy to be weighed!  As with all the beaches, the majority of the marine litter was plastics. 

SALTBURN had the keenest volunteers with young and old rolling up their sleeves.  A special thanks to Nick Noble for promoting the event locally.  We found 4 syringes and lots of cotton buds on Saltburn, a worrying sign off a recent raw sewage spill, probably associated with the recent heavy rainfall.  Again there were several car tyres and even half a tractor tyre that contributed to 486kgs collected by 100 volunteers. 

BRIGHTON is a deceptive beach, as it’s mostly pebbles the litter is harder to see.  But we still found bags of it.  Again loads of cotton bud sticks and beach-users litter.  We even found Nemo (a toy clown fish). 

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The third annual edition of Earthwave, the global environmental initiative that harnesses the huge interest surrounding attempts to break Guinness World Records (GWR) for surfing to promote sustainable lifestyle choices, is scheduled to take place on the beaches of the world on Sunday 4 October 2009.

Each event will stage an attempt on the GWR for the ‘most surfers riding one wave simultaneously’ and use the publicity to highlight the effects of climate change and showcase the products and services that are becoming available to reduce our impact on the environment.

“We are really looking forward to Earthwave 2009 and will be going all-out at Surfers Corner in Muizenberg to re-capture the Guinness World Record currently held by Earthwave Brazil,” says Paul Botha from Kahuna Promotions, who co-founded the event in 2006 with his son Dene at the iconic Cape Town surfbreak.

“Earthwave has evolved from our original attempt in 2006 when we successfully set a new record of 73 surfers on one wave while staging a debate on sharks and raising over R10 000 for the then fledgling Shark Spotters program. We will be collaborating with environmental organisations to try and run a ‘Green’ event that provides everyone with a couple of fun days at the beach while promoting lifestyle choices that will benefit the planet.”

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The Chilean big wave surf break of Punta de Lobos and the idyllic Australian point break of Noosa have been officially declared the 9th and 10th World Surfing Reserves, respectively.

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