When I started off this mission it was to raise awareness, inspire people to do something about this massive problem of marine litter we have and to get out and see the remote places around the North Atlantic it is affecting, on a scale of environmental degradation and how it is affecting the marine ecosystem. That remains the same, but due to so many different people contacting me, organisations, individuals and other photographers wanting to get involved we’ve collectively come up with a bigger plan. That is to map the coast of the whole of the North Atlantic (give or take the odd stretch), just to bring home the fact that there is virtually not a mile of beach untouched by this problem. *
It’s all very much a visual campaign, statistics do not reach people like photographs and film does, the power of the image is only beaten by being somewhere yourself and seeing pollution. It’s not a standalone campaign, I believe even more in what people like Surfer’s Against Sewage are doing, from presenting a serious manifesto for change at a governmental and corporate level, to orchestrating the biggest network of beach cleans in Europe, it’s all vital. But when it comes down to it, government and corporate responsibility won’t solve this problem alone, every individual will. That is why this is so important, as surfers we know, we’re educated because we see the problem at the beach every time we go and surf. We’re also fortunate to participate in one of the most visually exciting activities on the planet, in some of the most incredible land/seascapes, using this to communicate the cause is how we want to change the ocean. It’s a big step forward from a humble beginning but we have to bring this to the world even more so than it is being done already.
How we’re going to do that is on a number of levels. The power of social and online media is a way of getting the message to millions, but the competition for those milli seconds of attention is hot, which is why the subject mater of adventure and surfing opens so many doors. On top of this it’s about face to face contact, getting into rooms and showing people and engaging with all walks of life. I’m glad I have already inspired a number of people about the project enough to want me to come in a talk about it. From local marine conservation groups, brands, schools, film festivals and the first phase of this project will culminate in November at The Royal Geographic Society where I’ll present the first year of exploration at the RGS Explore 2015 weekend.
So how can you get involved? Firstly if you have any event or group that you’d like me to come and talk to, drop me a line. The talks are all about surf adventure as well the environment, I want to inspire people to get out and explore our amazing world, but also to address the environmental damage that we are doing to it.
Secondly submit, I’m always interested in shots or guest blogs which will help build up the big picture on the coastlines of Northern Europe. I’m going to visit as much as possible, but The North Atlantic is one huge place.
Back the project, I’ve been urged to go down a crowdfunder route by some people but I’m not in total agreement with them. But if you do want to get involved, hit this link, and there are three ways from a digital postcard to limited edition prints which will help massively. This is a totally not for profit project, and anything that comes in goes out to paying for it.
Or simply follow this blog and tell as many people about the problem as possible, and when you go down the beach pick up some rubbish.
*(This is a map of marine litter, not surfing secret spots, no surf on this adventure will be disclosed, surf adventure is a vessel to help raise awareness and generate interest in the general population and to inspire people to change their lives to help end this scourge to the planet).