The Santa Barbara Surfrider Foundation is calling on community members to grab their boats, boards – anything that floats – and head out into the ocean this Saturday in an effort to combat coastal pollution.
The third annual Paddle Out charity event seeks to attract attention from donors in order to raise funds for beach cleanups and educational events at local elementary schools. The event begins at noon at the base of Stearns Wharf and will feature two guest speakers, 1977 World Surfing Champion Shaun Tomson and 35th District Assemblyman Pedro Nava.
After the speeches, which will center on the importance of protecting the oceans, attendees will paddle out into the Pacific, coming together to create a large Healing Circle.
SB Surfrider Chairman Scott Bull said the event aims to protect Santa Barbara’s water quality.
“By having all the surfers go out and form a Healing Circle, we will catch the attention of passersby and onlookers,” Bull said. “Our goal is to create more of a buzz around the community, hopefully getting people to care more about coastal pollution.”
The event is open to the public and is free. However, those who would like to support the cause can donate $25 and become a Surfrider Supporter. These specific individuals will then receive a t-shirt, a pair of Simple flip-flops, Zogs surf wax, Fat Tire lip balm and a raffle ticket. Raffle contestants can win prizes such as wine, books, clothing, tote bags or even a surfboard.
Noah Morales, I.V. Surfrider Foundation co-chair and recent UCSB graduate, said he hopes many will come and take part in the event.
“It’s going to be a lot of fun and you don’t need to be a surfer,” Morales said. “Get wet, get in the water and splash around. Just come out and have a good time.”
Bull said he thinks more people will attend this year’s event, hoping to see over 100 people paddle out, compared to last year’s estimate of 85 participants. He expects many more spectators watch from drier parts of Stearns Wharf.
“We want to see that this is a community that cares about costal pollution,” Bull said.