LOS ANGELES, Calif., USA (February 10, 2023) - Today, the World Surf League (WSL) announced the recipients of the third annual WSL PURE Grant Program. WSL's non-profit partner, WSL PURE has awarded grant funding in key WSL regions to organizations whose work is in alignment with We Are One Ocean™, WSL's global initiative to protect and conserve our one ocean.
The 2023 recipients span the world with projects in Hawaii, Portugal, El Salvador, Brazil, South Africa, Tahiti, California, and Mexico. Each grant has a unique connection to the locations on 2023 World Championship Tour:
- Kōkua Hawaiʻi Foundation, Hawaiʻi: The Kōkua Hawaiʻi Foundation is a non-profit based on the North Shore of Oʻahu that supports environmental education in schools and communities across Hawaiʻi. The WSL PURE grant will be used for planting native vegetation in the Kōkua Hawaii Foundation's learning farm's wetlands and local Hawaiian gardens. The grant will also be used for purchasing an in-vessel compost machine which turns food and green waste into compost.
- Hope Zones Foundation, Portugal: Hope Zones Foundation is a non-profit aligned with ocean conservation by making an impact through marine reserves and parks that connect the land to the sea. With support from WSL PURE, Hope Zones and their coalition including Sea Forester, Patagonia, Colab+Atlantic, the Nazaré Municipality, Bro Cinema, and Instituto Monitoramento Mirim Costeiro, will work collectively to plant, monitor, research, and share the benefits and importance of seaweed reforestation projects in Nazaré, Portugal.
- Oriente Salvaje & Paso Pacifico, El Salvador: Sustainable tourism non-profit Oriente Salvaje, and biodiversity conservation organization Paso Pacifico, are joining forces to protect El Salvador's well-known rivers from the destructive impacts of plastic pollution. The grant funding from WSL PURE to install river barriers will prevent plastic from entering the ocean and polluting world-class surf breaks. At the same time, they will work with the local surfing community to build educational awareness around reducing the consumption of single-use packaging. Together they are leveraging the sport of surfing to promote sustainable tourism and achieve long-term ecosystem conservation.
- Surf Conservation Partnership, Brazil: The Surf Conservation Partnership (SCP) is a cutting-edge collaboration between Conservation International and Save The Waves Coalition. They work alongside local partners like Instituto APRENDER Ecologia and Conservation International-Brazil to protect the world's best waves and irreplaceable marine and coastal ecosystems. This partnership is taking immediate action to protect Saquarema, one of Brazil's most iconic surfing areas. Funding from the WSL PURE grant will be used to engage community partners and surfers in a clean-up of the Saquarema lagoon using stream barriers. Funds will also go towards creating an education program about the importance of the lagoon and surrounding ecosystems for the preservation of this world-renowned surf break.
- J-Bay Surf Alliance Surf Therapy Programme, South Africa: The J-Bay Surf Alliance Surf Therapy Programme is a collaborative program working towards creating a cleaner, more positive future by addressing the issue of plastic waste in the ocean. The program works with local communities to tackle this problem by educating the next generation through surf therapy and ocean education. With funding from the WSL PURE grant, the program aims to empower youth to understand the impact of their presence on the environment and their own sense of self-worth. Through this experience, the program hopes to empower individuals who will be passionate advocates for the environment and use their voices to lead positive change in their communities.
- Coral Gardeners, Tahiti: Coral Gardeners is on a mission to revolutionize ocean conservation and create a global movement to save the world's coral reefs. They look to make an impact through reef restoration, community awareness, and innovation development. The WSL PURE grant will support their Mo'orea and Teahupo'o coral restoration programs and their local awareness efforts. The program will also educate communities on the importance of coral reefs by involving them in hands-on workshops and inspire them to take action for the reef.
- Native Like Water (NLW), California and Mexico: Native Like Water (NLW) will continue their work in 2023, preparing and integrating teens and adults of under-represented populations into ocean recreation, conservation, wellness, and inter-generational cultural exploration. The program focuses on one's sacred relationship to water through an indigenous lens. The NLW creates scholarships and support for endangered indigenous communities in California and internationally through curated cultural conservation experiences and travel. With the WSL PURE grant, NLW created an Indigenous Narrative Ocean Stewardship Program that reintegrates youth and adults into ocean recreation and conservation.
"We are proud to announce this year's recipients of the 2023 WSL PURE grant program and are thrilled to leverage our platform to celebrate their amazing work," said Emily Hofer, Executive Director of WSL PURE. "Last year we saw our greatest impact yet thanks to the amazing work of our grantees. We are looking forward to bringing this year's grantees projects to life and sharing their success with our global audience."
This season WSL's We Are One Ocean initiative will be front-and-center for WSL athletes and fans through a series of content and conservation initiatives. This will include event-based activations at each Championship Tour stop, highlighting the great work of our 2023 grantees as well as other unique grassroots organizations around the globe. Follow the WSL's Championship Tour at WorldSurfLeague.com to find out more about how We Are One Ocean activations are coming to life.
For more information, visit weareoneocean.org.
The WSL PURE grant program is supported by SHISEIDO, which returns for a third year as WSL's Global Sustainability Partner, and YETI, a 2023 global WSL partner.