2010 saw SAS turn 20 and it was one of our best years ever! Our campaigns were splashed over the front pages of The Sunday Times, featured in The Observer and starred in the UK’s most watched current affairs TV programme to mention but a few. This momentum translated into significant campaign victories for surfers and waveriders all over the UK.
SAS has never rested on our laurels and we have big plans for all of our campaigns in 2011. But before we get ahead of ourselves, we thought it would be the perfect time to reflect on the highlights from the year that was 2010.
We started 2010 with a classic SAS action confronting the water industry as they tried, once again, to exploit legal loopholes to allow them to continue to pump untreated sewage into the sea. On the doorsteps of the court, our campaign squad greeted the water companies, their rude barrister and the judges with a huge image of a CSO clogged with sanitary towels, condoms and much worse. Emblazoned above this powerful and shocking image was simply the word “Appealing?”
In August we successfully exposed over 30 of the UK’s Blue Flag beaches because they couldn’t provide beach users with warnings when raw sewage was in the sea. We were the lone voice calling for information after sewage discharges. In 1 day alone we conducted over 30 press interviews and this high profile pressure helped us secured a great campaign victory. From 2011, all UK Blue Flag beaches with Combined Sewer Overflows (CSOs) must have systems in place to warn the public, in real time, when sewage is in the sea. This monumental campaign victory will help shape the future of public warnings about water quality.
Protect Our Waves
For the first time in the UK, waveriders and surfers have specific legislation to protect our waves, (surf spots, the surf itself and access to the surf). Our POW campaign resulted in recreational water users being awarded a seat on the regional planning partnerships within the Scottish Marine Bill. This gives surfers the appropriate platform to raise any concerns about impacts on our waves at the very earliest stage. We now have a bellowing mouthpiece, but we still need your eyes and ears on the ground, so be vigilant. Contact SAS with any information on waves under threat.
The Waves Are Resources (WAR) Report released this summer frames the intrinsic and economic value of waves. To waveriders the values are obvious, but The WAR Report also details how and why waves should be recognised as valuable resources by non-surfers. Only once our precious waves’ true value to the whole community is understood, can we begin to ensure they are provided the level of protection they deserve. The WAR Report is being actively promoted to planners across the UK, at all levels of Government and compliments SAS’s credible body of scientific reports.
On April the 1st SAS filed several reports of UFOs landing on our beaches. Unidentified Floating Objects! The new UFO campaign relies on your expertise and experience to identify persistent litter items found on our beaches. Once we have the object identified we can start to trace where it comes from and work with the industry to change their polluting practices.
The infamous and award winning Return To Offender campaign influenced one of the biggest companies in the world this year, Coca Cola agreed to meet all of the Return To Offender campaign demands. Persuading Coca Cola to reduce their packaging, invest in low impact materials, promote reuse and recycling and to support anti litter campaigns is a fantastic achievement.
However, Coke still need to improve, as they came out top on last week’s Christmastide action. During Christmastide, AKA the 12 days of Christmas, we identified the 12 companies whose products we find most frequently littering UK beaches. On each of the 12 days we sent each offending a company a beautiful, yet shocking, image of their products on a snow-covered beach. The contrast of these offending rubbish items resting on the pure white snow, with glimpses of yellow sand and the stunning blue Atlantic as the backdrop, will hopefully compel each company into subscribing to the Return To Offender campaign.
Beach Cleans & Volunteering
Our excellent regional reps have had an incredibly active 2010, starting with the Spring Beach Clean in March. SAS volunteers in their hundreds turned up to our Spring Beach Cleans all over the UK, but this was just the tip of the iceberg for our beach clean and volunteer programmes in 2010.
The 3rd annual SAS Makes Beaches Barefoot Friendly tour was another whirlwind tour of some of the UK’s most popular beaches. Once again, with the help of the Barefoot Wine team, these events had a great community spirit. The reward for rolling your sleeves up and helping clean your precious beach was a tasty BBQ and cheeky wine tasting. This is one of the year’s highlights for the SAS team, we are able to make a real difference to a beach, meet a lot of like-minded people and have a fun, relaxed day. The good news is this tour will be dramatically expanded for 2011! Cheers to that!!!
In August the inspiring MotivOcean beach clean and surf experience tour exploded around the UK. This was our most ambitious beach clean and volunteer programme ever. And it was a resounding success! In the space of just 10 days over 1,000 of you turned up to help. The vast majority of the volunteers were the notoriously apathetic 16-25 year olds. MotivOcean Part II will be rolled out from January onwards. For more information on a MotivOcean event near you, email [email protected]
The UK’s best Stand Up Paddleboarders (SUPs) crossed the Channel and along the way they raised over £8,000 for SAS and set a new World Record! Even with a near perfect sea state the event was incredibly gruelling and took a huge amount of dedication and determination.
There had been a lot of rumours that the Ball would make a comeback in our 20th anniversary. And on the first week of September super-heroes from all over the galaxy descended upon Porthtowan for the IncrediBALL! We had a superb new site, some fresh new music, but kept the amazing atmosphere from all the SAS Balls. Will it return in 2011?
Looking Forward To 2011
The 2011 calendar is already filling up with campaign actions and events. With each passing year more and more threats to our precious coastal playgrounds are identified. This isn’t demoralising to the SAS team, we use this as a motivator, powering our campaigns forward and ensuring they are even more impactful than ever. But as a small team we can’t do this alone, we urgently need your support and engagement. We are looking forward to working with you again in 2011!