Today and everyday we appreciate our planet, our oceans, and our role in protecting them. Now more than ever, as we stay home for the current global health crisis, we are grateful for our time in the ocean and the incredible experiences it provides.
The Valpo Surf Project was founded around three core pillars: surfing, environmental stewardship, and academic tutoring. Each is used as a vehicle for mentorship, with constant student support being our number one priority. Instilling appreciation through recreation is currently our strongest focus in terms of environmental stewardship. Students gain a deep appreciation for the ocean as a source of recreation, and thus have a stake in its protection. Many of our students see the ocean every day of their lives, but most had never stepped foot in it before our program began. They are as geographically removed from the ocean as possible in a city that sits directly bayside and are even further removed from surfable beaches. In closing this geographic gap, we’re closing a social gap as well, counteracting economic factors that have pushed disadvantaged communities further and further from the water and the sport.
We also hold workshops with local organizations focusing on recycling and water safety, and regularly organize beach and neighborhood cleans to address the region’s waste issues. While cleaning the beach or their neighborhoods, our students gain a more keen understanding of what people are wasting, the negative repercussions of that behavior, and the community action necessary to reverse said waste. Moving forward, we intend to incorporate more environmental education with the help of local organizations and community partners into existing academic and surf programming to strengthen our students’ scientific understanding of the environment and to create more avenues for acting in favor of the natural world.
To celebrate Earth Day, we’re sharing a few documentaries that we’re excited to watch that (virtually) connect us to the ocean we’re missing so much:
Save The Waves Film Fest // https://www.savethewaves.org/stwffonline/
Save the Waves, an incredible organization that campaigns to protect surf ecosystems around the world, is releasing their annual Film Fest online for FREE! Streaming begins on their website starting at 4PM PST on April 22, 2020.
The Story of Plastic
“The Story of Plastic, takes a sweeping look at the man-made crisis of plastic pollution and the worldwide effect it has on the health of our planet and the people who inhabit it. Spanning three continents, the film illustrates the ongoing catastrophe: fields full of garbage, veritable mountains of trash, rivers and seas clogged with waste, and skies choked with the poisonous emissions from plastic production and processing.”
Premieres on the Discovery Channel (US) on April 22, 2020 at 2PM EST and is also available streaming on DiscoveryGo.
Join Patagonia and Chilean big wave surfer Ramón Navarro as they look into the environmental ramifications of the salmon industry in Chile.
Enjoy and stay safe!