Last October Save the Waves Coalition announced the Dirty Wave Challenge, a cash prize in the form of a five thousand dollar stewardship fund awarded to the dirtiest and trashiest surf ecosystem identified by our new Endangered Waves App.
With hundreds of photos submitted from over 10 countries as part of the competition, Save The Waves is excited to announce the winning submission came from Fiji.
Fijian Pro Surfer and Vice President of the Fiji Surfing Association, Hannah Bennett, submitted the winning posts. We documented Hannah’s journey with Save The Waves Ambassador Cliff Kapono.
“The Endangered waves app was a game changer for me and I believe it’s important for beach-goers to have because it helps raise awareness about an isolated region that is polluted and bring to the communities attention such a problem. I also love how seamless it is to use and pin-point your region. Even people within our surfing community here didn’t realize how trash filled our lineup was until they started seeing the posts,” she said.
The prize money went directly to Hannah to help support the ongoing stewardship of the rivers and beaches on Viti Levu in partnership with the Fiji Surfing Association.
“There are approximately 35 million surfers worldwide, and they are the front line for our coastlines for climate change, trash, sewage and other issues. Imagine if this entire community was like Hannah: mobilized to track and tackle coastal threats in her own backyard,” said Save The Waves Executive Director, Nik Strong-Cvetich.
The overarching goal of the challenge was to collect data on the health of our surf breaks, mobilize beach goers and educate the surfing community around the key issues facing our coastlines. We also plan to use the photos and data collected to better track and prioritize coastal threats by building our capacity to use artificial intelligence.
Save The Waves will launch another Challenge at the beginning of 2020, but in the meantime please download our App, and report the issue you are seeing at your favorite place.