For the Cuervo Classic Malibu Longboard Championship Presented by O'Neill, World Surf League teamed up with Jose Cuervo, #WeAreOneOcean coalition partner Surfrider Foundation, and Longboard Tour surfers to protect this special coastline through a beach cleanup.
The iconic First Point in Malibu, California is the ultimate location to host this two-day event. It is considered one of the most iconic waves in longboard surfing and is the traditional homeland of the Chumash people. Malibu is the Anglicized version of the Chumash word Humaliwu, which, in the Chumash language, means "the place where the surf sounds loudly." The Chumash people have been here for over 14,000 years, and are still stewarding the land alongside surfers, environmentalists, and others who care about our shared coastline.
At WSL, we believe in the power of coming together and investing in the communities where our events take place. These efforts are highlighted though our #WeAreOneOcean initiative, which exists to inspire the global surf community to protect and conserve the global ocean, to preserve the future of our sport.
We were excited to collaborate with Surfrider and Jose Cuervo not only for the beach cleanup itself, but also for the additional benefits they can offer. Not only do they help remove litter and protect wildlife, their impact is far-reaching and can help inform policy decisions, bring people together, and galvanize communities to care. This is incredibly important as the future of our sport is directly tied to the health of the global ocean.
As a grassroots nonprofit organization that mobilizes around the world to protect the ocean, Bill Hickman, Surfrider Southern California Regional Manager, shared, "We're proud to be a We Are One Ocean Coalition member to continue moving our mission forward. Everybody can help out. We want to help keep the ocean clean for marine life and for recreation. We want to keep the coastline accessible for everyone." Kirra Seale, Senior Manager, WSL Longboard Tour, aligned with Bill by adding, "Malibu Beach is a classic point break, and the epitome of longboard surfing in southern California. We want to protect it and keep it clean for future generations."
At the end of the day, the partners, volunteers, and athletes from the men's and women's longboard tour collected and properly disposed of more than forty pounds of litter. Malibu local and 2019 WSL Longboard World Champion Soleil Errico who helped in these efforts shared, "This place is so special to me. It's my favorite wave in the world, and I spend so much time here. Being here preserving this beach and this ocean is one of the most important things I can do as a surfer."
We finished up with an important reminder from Longboard Tour Surfer Joao Dantas: "As surfers, we all use the ocean and nature every day, and I think it's very important to spread the word about protecting the beaches."
It was exciting to see individuals, non profits and businesses come together for an important environmental initiative that will inspire others to take action to protect the places we love. For fans looking for ways to get involved, Surfrider Foundation has a large network of coastal defenders across the country who work collectively to help tackle the issues that face our ocean, waves and beaches.
As surfers, the ocean is our playground and our stadium. Getting involved in protecting and conserving the ocean is critical for us today and for future generations. Tell us what you are doing us by posting on social media with the hashtag #WeAreOneOcean and tagging @wsl and @wslpure in your posts. You can learn more and get involved at WeAreOneOcean.org.