The TransparentSea Voyage campaign will host its kick-off party tonight at the Santa Barbara Maritime Museum to mark Saturday as the start of its four-week voyage along the California coast.
The campaign highlights coastal environmental issues and consists of an eight-member crew of surfers, photographers and sea animal advocates following the migration of the California Grey Whales. The gala will feature a film screening, live music and a silent art-show and auction to raise funds for the Surfers for Cetaceans — a nonprofit composed of surfers and ocean crew working against the capture, harassment and killing of whales, dolphins and other marine animals — as well as several other sea-oriented charities.
According to Surfers for Cetaceans co-founder and TransparentSea crewmember Howie Cooke, the voyage will focus particularly on the protection of whales and dolphins within their habitat.
“It’s very satisfying to be able to represent the international surf community against killing whales — it’s practically accepted that we are close to whales and dolphins; they are our friends,” Cooke said. “We have been calling on the diving community and sailing community to do the same things. If the three main ocean communities can come together we can be a very powerful voice to stand up for sea critters.”
The voyage will stop in Malibu on Oct. 7, Dana Point on Oct. 16 and San Diego on Oct. 23 to screen surfer Dave Rastovich’s film “Mind in the Water”, showcase Australian music group Band of Frequencies and hold silent auctions benefiting S4C Global. Additionally, the crew will stop and work alongside various ocean-oriented community and youth groups to publicize their respective causes and increase public participation in sea-life preservation.
According to TransparentSea crew member JJ, the campaign calls upon local surfers to help ensure the marine ecosystem’s safety.
“Santa Barbara is the first of four stops that were going to do — it’s the entry start for our personal journey,” JJ said. “We’re trying to make a difference in surfing community.”
The first TransparentSea voyage took place 2009 in Australia to bring to light the Japanese whaling fleets hunting humpback whales. The activist group encourages students and community members to volunteer, refrain from eating fish and other animals that contribute to ocean depletion and educate themselves on the issues of marine life safety.
Personal actions can have lasting impacts on the coastal environment, according to Cooke.
“A very direct approach is just taking pride and cleaning up the beach,” Cooke said. “If you can form your own small group and follow a kind of blueprint and think about what you can do to set a good example for how we can help stand up for the ocean”
In addition to tonight’s event, the organization will host a coastal cleanup Saturday morning from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. at Gaviota Pier. For more information regarding the foundation and a map of the voyage’s destinations, visit transparentseavoyage.com.