Our ocean recovery campaigns

Take action to help drive ocean recovery

For life on earth to thrive, the ocean must be wild, not barren.

So here’s what we’re doing and how you can help. 

From harmful overfishing to the exploitation of marine resources, dangerous sea temperature rises and even individual water users’ carelessness, the ocean is struggling to survive in the face of humanity’s actions. Plummeting biodiversity and disappearing habitats are irrevocably transforming the ocean. The situation is catastrophic. But recovery is possible if we act together, now…

What we’re doing to help with Ocean Recovery

Surfers Against Sewage are here to add voice and value to the work already being done by experts in Ocean Recovery. We connect the public with the science, raising awareness of the link between ocean health and human health to drive action and maximise impact. From reports that show the scale of the problem to supporting on the delivery of the Ocean Recovery Manifesto, we add our clout and conviction to the cause however we can.

We work really closly with other NGOs such as the Marine Conservation Society, WWF, the National Trust, Greenpeace, IFM and ZSL as part of the Wildlife and Countryside LINK Marine Group, dedicated to marine restoration.

But as long as the ocean continues to be savaged by human activity, there’s work to be done. We demand 30% of the ocean and all UK Marine Protected Areas are highly protected by 2030, and we need your voice, energy and enthusiasm to make it happen. 

Past campaign successes

Ocean Conservation All Party Parliamentary Group

We set up the first All Party Parlimentary Group on Ocean Conservation to raise political awareness and drive action on ocean restoration. As the secretariat from 2016-2022 with joined forces with academics, fellow campaigners and researches to host events, discussions and round table events designed to influence political action.


The Creature

95% of the ocean remains unexplored. Are we killing what we are yet to discover? Our short film highlights the wildness of the ocean and the life within it, highlighting how little we know about the ocean. Winning several awards, this film was a key moment in our ocean recovery campaign. We even took The Creature to parliment to demand action on ocean restoration now.

Surf Activists

In 2016, we worked with Patagonia to create a Surf Activist Toolkit to help surfers and ocean lovers take stewardship of their surfing environment and career out actions to preserve and improve the places they live, surf and love. The toolkit focused on three core issues, Water Quality, Marine Rubbish and Development. It contained resources, from case studies and campaign advice to tips on raising awareness, engaging with NGOs and government, and spreading the word through social media.

Global Wave Conference, 2015

A biennial forum that brings together some of the world’s leading ocean experts, scientists and activists, in 2015 we hosted the 4th Global Wave Conference, its first time in the UK. Held in Newquay, Cornwall, with a sister event at the Palace of Westminster as part of our Protect Our Waves All Party Parliamentary Group, the Conference saw ocean NGOs, academics, campaigners, politicians, surf industry manufacturers, and members of coastal communities highlight the importance of protecting the ocean and the world’s waves and beaches, not just for surfers, but for everyone. 

Protect Our Waves

In 2013, more than 55,000 surfers, environmentalists and water users signed our Protect Our Waves petition, a groundbreaking campaign to urge the UK Government to address the most urgent issues facing our seas – including marine litter, water quality, sewage pollution, and coastal development. We took the petition to 10 Downing Street, for the first time placing the welfare of our waves, seas and beaches right at the heart of Westminster. It was one of our largest ever community campaigns, and received widespread media coverage. We formed the Protect Our Waves All-Party Parliamentary Group (POW APPG), which brought together 23 MPs from coastal communities all around the UK.  

Continued ocean degradation and lack of action can compromise significant benefits in terms of human health and wellbeing, and this is a risk for the UK Government not worth taking, especially in the aftermath of COVID-19.

Thriving Ocean, Thriving People: Ocean Recovery Report 2021