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WSL PURE: Hosts Panel at Ohana Fest Discussing Plastic Pollution

Alex Weber (Founder The Plastic Pickup) teamed up with Santa Cruz artist Ethan Estess (Director, CountercurrentArt.org) to turn thousands of golf balls into a giant interactive wave sculpture featured in the PURE Village at the Freshwater Pro and Ohana Fest. Alex Weber, Ethan Estess, and Reece Pacheco getting barrelled in the Golf Ball Wave at Ohana Fest WSL / John Suhar

With WSL PURE's commitment to #stoptrashingwaves, Reece Pacheco, Executive Director of WSL PURE, hosted a panel focusing on the not-so-obvious ways in which our ocean is being trashed. Proudly partnering with The Plastic Pickup and Countercurrent, together PURE brought to life the Golf Ball Wave art installation, fan activation, and critical discussion around plastic pollution. The discussion focused on the depth of the problem and potential solutions at the Storytellers Cove on Sunday, September 29th at Ohana Fest.

To create the wave, Alex Weber (Founder The Plastic Pickup) teamed up with Santa Cruz artist Ethan Estess (Director, CountercurrentArt.org) to turn thousands of golf balls into the giant interactive wave sculpture featured in the PURE Village at the Freshwater Pro and Ohana Fest. Weber's research revealed how golf balls break down into micro-plastics and release toxic compounds into the water.

During the panel, Ethan shared how, "this is a project about golf, but it's really about the concept of out of sight out of mind, and there are lots of environmental issues where this pertains, whether it's climate change or plastic pollution in general. The takeaway here is that one person can make a difference. If Alex, her dad, and a few friends can collect over 50,000 golf balls, that's a huge impact and Alex just went for it, she didn't have a grant, she didn't ask for money or support she just started doing it and her entire community followed her and here we are inspiring change."

Alex then followed up with, "we all talk so much about making these differences, about cutting this out or involving this in our life, but it's really just the choice to act. One of the first quotes that inspired me was, "I always wondered why somebody didn't do something about this, and then I realized I am somebody." It sounds so simple, but realizing you as an individual have the power to stand up and say something about it. Maybe it's not a trend right now, but you can make the trend. Once you start a movement, people will follow."

The Golf Ball Wave was made possible thanks to all the generous partners such as Kokua Hawaii Foundation and Hydroflask and donors who supported the project. If you are interested in contributing to the "Fore The Waves" project, please visit this Go Fund Me page and for a deeper look at the story behind the wave, check out this video.

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