Protect Our Waves – All Party Parliamentary Group

Steve Double, Member of Parliament for St Austell and Newquay, has been elected as the new chair of the Protect Our Waves All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG).

The Protect Our Waves All Party Parliamentary Group  brings together MPs representing the UK’s key coastal communities to address the most urgent environmental issues highlighted by the Protect Our Waves (POW) petition – marine litter, recreational bathing water quality and coastal development. 55,000 surfers, environmentalists and recreational water users joined Surfers Against Sewage in signing the POW petition, which was delivered to 10 Downing in October 2013 with musician and surfer Ben Howard.

Commenting, Steve Double MP said,

“With Newquay the premier surf resort in the country, I was absolutely delighted to be asked to chair the Protect Our Waves APPG in this new Parliament. The protection of our marine environment is crucial, both to preserve and nurture our beautiful seas and coastline, but also to grow the valuable surfing industry, which contributes so much to our constituency’s economy.

I look forward to working with Hugo and the team at Surfers Against Sewage to ensure the Protect Our Waves APPG is a powerful voice in Parliament both for the protection of our bathing water quality and in the fight against marine pollution.”

The Protect Our Waves APPG will continue to provide an unprecedented platform for SAS to discuss marine conservation issues and campaigns directly with politicians. We will also be able to use the group to engage with business and regulators, and suggest new and effective measures to better protect the UK’s waves, oceans and beaches.

The first meeting of 2015 was held in Parliament on 18th June and was attended by Steve Double MP (St Austell & Newquay), Geraint Davies MP (Swansea West), Gary Streeter MP (South West Devon), Craig Mackinlay MP (Thanet South) and Tom Blenkinsop MP (Middlesborough South & East Cleveland). A varied and productive discussion covered topics including marine litter & the circular economy, water quality and human health, the economic value of surfing to the UK. The Global Wave Conference was also high on the agenda.

Economic Impact of Surfing

Surfers Against Sewage’s economic survey highlights the £1.8 Billion value of UK surfing to call for increased action to protect the UK’s surfing habitats.

The economic study produced by Surfers Against Sewage and economist Dr Mills will ensure policy makers and MPs are better informed of the value of the UK’s precious and vulnerable surfing resource before they make policy decisions that could negatively impact on coastal communities, both economically and socially. This ground-breaking study is good news for the UK with the value of £1.8 billion comparable to the economic value of sailing for the UK or tourism for Cornwall.