Our main goal is to engage global surf fans to protect and conserve our ocean to preserve the future of our sport. We focus on ecological challenges and solutions related to our three pillars: protecting coastlines, reducing climate impacts, and preventing plastic pollution. We engage with communities near our Championship Tour events in the USA, Portugal, Australia, El Salvador, Brazil, South Africa, and Tahiti. At each location, we collaborate with local nonprofits to work towards solutions that will benefit their community, our ocean, and environment. Each community where we activate is working towards environmental solutions to mitigate, restore and detect ecological challenges. We focus on conservation, restoration, and awareness. Restoration is vital to the health of many ecosystems and the livelihoods of communities across the globe. There are also added benefits through awareness and education about the importance of restoration and biodiversity. WSL PURE is well-positioned to share these stories with our millions of fans. This is all executed in partnership with WSL, which has deep expertise in producing content and communicating with surfers and ocean advocates around the world. Together, given this unique relationship, WSL PURE is able to leverage the media platform and events of WSL to reach and activate WSL’s global audience in campaigns for ocean conservation and sustainability.
In 2023, WSL PURE will be going into the third year of its annual grant program to support non-profit organizations focused on improving the health of global ocean ecosystems with a focus on coasts, climate, and plastics, while supporting the people who rely on them. In 2022, we collaborated with grantees and coalition partners at 11 different locations along the WSL Championship Tour through community-led activations.
WSL’s audience includes tens of millions of young, highly engaged fans around the world who are strongly motivated to protect the ocean. We seek to engage our audience through social media, earned media, and targeted live events, conferences, and other major moments. Our goal is to move our audience from awareness to action. In addition to leveraging our fans to support environmental responsibility efforts across the globe we also aim to engage Indigenous peoples and local communities aligned to our event locations who are often affected by the environmental issues we address. We work in this capacity through our grant program; by asking community stakeholders to identify issues of the greatest need for their community and submit a proposal into our grant application process for our selection committee to review, and then move forward funding a select list of projects aligned to our event locations.
In November of 2022, we took over UN Biodiversity's Instagram page for a week, highlighting our environmental work and impacts throughout the year. Throughout this takeover, we were able to engage 28,900 accounts, which was recorded as a 72% increase on UN’s Biodiversity account’s engagement, and we reached an audience of 355,000, which translates to a 177% increase in reach.
At WSL, we use our platform not only to tell stories about our incredible athletes but also for the good of the ocean. We are committed to inspiring surfers, and ocean enthusiasts across the globe to act locally to protect and conserve our one ocean. We consider our campaign to be successful given the first hand impacts on coastal communities around the world, our restoration and conservation efforts, and the delivery of our ocean conservation initiative on a global stage. Other accomplishments include bringing together 100+ organizations, educating 35,015 youth on cultural and environmental stewardship, protecting or conserving 347,219 hectares of land, establishing and strengthening 8 surf - protected areas, reducing our CO2 emissions by 49% from events and operations since 2018, and reducing our waste by 70% from events and operations since 2018.
Due to the numerous initiatives we hosted in 2022, we will only be able to include some of the results from this year, selectively from our events in Portugal, Hawaii, and South Africa.
Impacts from our initiative in Portugal with ReGeneration Surf include 128,000 kelp plants seeded and planted, 11 Zero Waste and 1 Ocean and Flow workshop hosted, and an invitation for youth to feel the elements of nature and get to know marine life through water trails and freediving.
During our initiative in Hawaii with Na Kama Kai, we successfully educated 1,200 youth, provided resources for 12 monthly ocean clinics where 100 children (ages 2-17) were present per clinic, and we established a curriculum of 5 pillars of teaching including conservation, stewardship, and ocean safety.
In South Africa, our partners JBay Surf Alliance and Sentinel Ocean Alliance create ocean-based opportunities and provide environmental education for the youth of South Africa’s coastal communities. Together they provide a safe space to create and implement multi-faceted youth development programmes and environmental initiatives that address real challenges facing the youth. Successful impacts brought on by our collaboration included 36 children enrolled in a 10 month program, 30 educational sessions presented, 312 combined participations, 4 coaches employed and trained, and 1 W4C (Waves 4 Change) surf therapy program completed.
These results prove our campaign successful as we were able to positively impact communities while spreading the message on a global platform, mitigating ecological challenges while engaging fans worldwide.
Videos included in links attached.
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