The Santa Barbara Chapter of Surfrider Foundation hosted its third annual Paddle Out for Clean Water this Saturday afternoon at the foot of Stearns Wharf. Over 100 participants came to the event, which is a publicity effort aimed at bringing attention to ocean pollution and popularizing potential legislation bringing a unified national ocean policy to coastal regions.
Guest speakers included 1977 World Surfing Champion Shaun Tomson, as well as State Assemblyman Pedro Nava, City Councilmember Helene Schneider and County Second District Supervisor Janet Wolf. Representatives from the Naples Coalition-dedicated to preserving the environmental quality and rural character of the Gaviota Coast-were available to answer questions and recruit new volunteers. Several surf-related vendors were present as well, including local “green” company, Simple Shoes. A raffle and auction were also held giving Surfrider claim to $700 for a custom-shaped longboard that had been donated.
After the speakers had offered their thoughts on ocean pollution, participants entered the water on surfboards, kayaks, outriggers-anything that would float-and formed a “healing circle” in the water next to the wharf. A few brief words were spoken as a way of thanking people for their continued support on ocean water quality issues, and after a brief cheer, it was all over.
“We were very pleased with the turnout this year,” said Scott Bull, Chairman of Santa Barbara Surfrider. “We hope that participation continues to grow every year as awareness of these issues increases. It’s important that the community plays an active role in these issues.”
Surfrider is also involved in the continuing Naples Campaign, and is a member of the Naples Coalition. For more information about local Surfrider activities, visit www.sbsurfrider.org.