Kelly Slater Pumps The Environment In Bali

by Nellie J

World surfing champion and allround surfing superstar Kelly Slater, is dropping in to help clean up the environment in one of the worlds greatest surfing locations: Bali.

The focus of Slater’s campaign is to bring about some much needed change in the way waste is being dealt with in Bali. Kelly is concerned that a lot of rubbish is making its way down to the beaches and ending up in the ocean.

Bali was originally a pristine surfing mecca in what was known as the “Hippie trail” in the 70’s, but has since gone on to become one of the most popular surfing tourist destinations on the planet.

Kelly Slater. More than just a surfing legend!

Slater has been in spending the last few days in Bali surfing and visiting  friends in between stops on the ASP World Tour, and was understandably aghast at  seeing the large amounts of trash in the water and on the beaches of the  previously pristine Bali.

On April 23rd Slater sent out a series of “tweets” from his Twitter account  describing his concern for Bali’s pollution problems that not only went out to  his almost 200,000 followers it was also “re-tweeted” and has by now reached  hundreds of thousands more in the surf industry and the international media,  notably in Austraila, Bali’s largest tourist market.

In an effort to focus more attention on the issue and create a stimulus to  stir direct action, Slater has offered up one of his surfboards for bidding as a  start, saying he will match the funds from the sale of the board as well as give  of his time to motivate people into action to help stem the tide of this rampant  pollution problem. Quiksilver Indonesia has taken Slater up on his offer and  will be accepting bids on the http://bit.ly/JOWemQ  surfboard on Ebay.

“How ever I can get engaged to help out to at least educate and spread the  word to help motivate the people who know how to do the right thing to start  creating some change here, I’m happy to do that,” said Slater.  “Giving a  board is something simple but giving some time is something I’d feel really good  about. The board is a start and if it’s going to raise some funds, I’ll match  the funds with whatever the board raises… I’ll match that myself.”

He went on to add, “I think this issue is much bigger than just the surf  community, obviously there’s some infrastructure that needs to be put in place  in Bali and this part of the world to do something with the waste rather than  put it in the ocean. If you walk down the beach without shoes you need to pay  attention, as there are needles, random trash, all sorts of debris and medical  waste. Yeah it’s a problem for the people who travel here and love coming to  this place, but it’s more of a problem for the people who live here, it’s a  really important issue.”

Source: Coastal Watch 

It is great to see such an iconic ocean user such as Kelly Slater taking some action and giving back to a place that has given him so much. A surfer of Kelly’s magnitude could have a significant influence upon the mindset of fellow surfers as he leads the way in this issue.

In my experience surfers tend to be a pretty Eco-conscious group on the whole as many surfers get behind such important causes as banning Shark finning and trying to put a stop to Dolphin slaughter.

Do you think that more superstars like Kelly should be using their status to influence popular opinions?

Are you concerned about the pollution on Bali’s’ beaches? Have you been to Bali and seen the rubbish stricken shorelines?

Do we as a species take the ocean for granted?

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