The surfing community around the world loves the ocean. Saltwater is in their blood. They spend a lot of time in and around the ocean, so they notice when it changes.
This makes them great people to help monitor and report threats to the environment. Now they have an easy way to do that using their smartphone and the Save the Waves app.
Save the Waves is the brainchild of Nik Strong-Cvetich, a surfer and activist from California. Surfers download the app and when they see something amiss in the ocean or on the coastline, they report it.
“The Save The Waves App empowers surfers, beach-goers and ocean-lovers to report and track coastal threats in real-time,” Nik tells us.
It’s as simple as taking a photo of the problem and writing a short description. The app then collates the data, including the location and Save The Waves team work on solving the problem.
It’s a bit like having eyes all over the world, and the benefits are huge.
The app allows Save the Waves to identify persistent problems with sewage, or waste in the oceans. It has also been used during oil spills, where wildlife and people could be in danger.
The app is currently used by 7000+ surfers in 36 countries worldwide, but Nik and the team have big plans.
There are an estimated 35 million surfers globally, but the app is not just designed for surfers. Anyone can download the app and start documenting the ocean where they live.
The team are also working to make the data more easily available to project partners and other NGOs, particularly from ‘data poor’ regions.
The work of Save The Waves has helped create the first World Surfing Reserves in Peru, Australia, Portugal, Mexico, Brazil, Costa Rica, Chile and the USA.
“After using the app I got so many more people on board within my community who didn’t even realize how bad it was,” Hannah Bennett, a Fijian Pro Surfer says.
Activism comes in many forms and there are many ways to get involved. The Save the Waves app allows everyone to be active and do something to help protect the ocean.
Get involved today to help bring our ocean back from the brink!