Kelly Slater

Kelly Slater, 9 times Surfing World Champion, and widely recognised as the greatest surfer ever, supports Surfers Against Sewage’s (SAS) Protect Our Waves campaign (POW).

Slater signed the 1,000th POW campaign postcard and today SAS will send Slater’s card to the Secretary of State for Defence (SoS). SAS’s 1,000 POW postcards call on the SoS to review the Ministry of Defence surfing ban at Broad Bench, one of the UK’s premier waves. 

Broad Bench falls on the outer boundary of a Ministry of Defence firing range and surfing can be prohibited whilst the MoD are using the range.  SAS understands that the MoD needs unrestricted use of their range, but believe there is a compromise that allows surfers full use of Broad Bench and the MoD full use of their range. 

Slater was joined by some of the world's best surfers, past, present and future, in pledging their support to SAS's POW campaign. Old guard legends Jeff Hakman and past world champion Wayne ‘Rabbit’ Bartholomew were stoked to add their signatures first, closely followed by two of the most powerful and stylish surfers in the world, Taylor Knox and Luke Egan.

The next generation of possible world champions also realised the importance of the campaign with Jeremy Flores and Jordy Smith signing the POW postcard, along with Roy Powers, one of the nicest surfers you could meet.  These international surfing superstars were joined by the UK’s own surfing champions Gabe Davies and Alan Stokes. 

SAS are harnessing the fantastic support from these top surfers to renew our request for a meeting with the SoS for Defence, calling for a solution that will allow the army full use of their firing range and permit surfers full access to the Broad Bench wave.

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All Points South

Save The Waves is very proud to announce that our documentary "All Points South" received the Best Short Film award at the New York Surf Film Festival 2009. Many thanks to the NYSFF, for producing yet another stellar festival!

"All Points South" follows the story of surfers and fishermen activists in Chile and their struggle against forestry industry pollution of coastal waters and waves.

Film director Sachi Cunningham commented from Los Angeles, California about the award: "We're thrilled with the recognition and hope that it inspires surfers everywhere who are concerned about the environment to not only think globally about our oceans' health, but also act locally to keep their breaks clean.”

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Sewage is destroying UK beaches

SAS are pleased to hear the European Commission (EC) has decided to take the United Kingdom to the European Court of Justice over non-compliance with EU environment legislation.

SAS has spent the summer highlighting the inadequacies of the UK’s sewerage system, specifically with Combine Sewage and Stormwater Overflow drains (CSOs), culminating in the hard-hitting Panorama programme “Britain’s Dirty Beaches”.

The EC is concerned that the urban waste water collecting systems and treatment facilities in London and Whitburn in North East England and have deemed them “inadequate and a threat to human health.”

SAS have highlighted time and again concerns over the short-term pollution impacts CSOs have on our coastline, and stressed the potential impacts to water users and especially waveriders who are more at risk as they immerse and ingest more than the average bather.

Some of the health risks associated with using sewage polluted waters include Ecoli, Hepatitis A, Gastro Enteritis and much more. 

Our rivers, seas, bathing waters and surf spots are suffering from short-term pollution incidents from CSOs.  The sewerage system is being over powered by the volume of water after periods of rain.  There are solutions that can take the pressure off the sewerage system without relying on CSOs or resulting in sewage backing up in our homes.

They include improvements in the efficiency of the sewerage system and/or an increase in capacity at sewage treatment works.  Local planners need to embrace and promote Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems (SUDS) that slowly release surface rainwater runoff.  And we can all use water more responsibly, taking small steps like turning the tap off whilst brushing our teeth, which will in effect increase capacity at sewage treatment works reducing the risk of overflow.

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