Beaches, waves and coastal ecosystems are put in jeopardy on a daily basis. Surfrider Foundation Europe acts to preserve access to beaches and waves, but also in the interest of users who are directly affected, particularly when it comes to water pollution.
The Keepers of the Coast programme focuses on five areas of environmental issues, which correspond to the association’s five lines of work. It is common for campaigns to fall into more than one of these categories.
Water quality and health
A great number of Keepers of the Coast battles come under this heading. Most of the time, issues are caused by waste water spills or dredging, which degrade the water quality and create hazards for both marine species and humans using the water. As one of our aims is to preserve water quality for all throughout the year, Surfrider Foundation Europe offers scientific expertise in this area.
Many of the Keepers contact us because they find beaches or coastlines littered with waste. It is often a case of determining the source of the waste and alerting the relevant authorities. The Keepers represent an additional and necessary help in Surfrider Foundation Europe’s battle against marine litter and its impacts on the environment.
￼Maritime transport and infrastructures
At the heart of this programme lies the desire by Surfrider Foundation Europe to enforce the ‘polluter pays’ principle, and to fight efficiently against all pollution. The Keepers help us to blow the whistle on pollution stemming from vessels, and they increasingly mobilise the public to oppose oil exploration projects, which are some of the most hazardous activities in terms of the environment.
Port extensions, construction of sea barriers, beach nourishment – the shores are threatened by a plethora of coastal developments, which can have a devastating effect on plants and wildlife. The Keepers are sometimes entering battles of unequal forces, as they may come to face large public or private organisations. Despite that, the mobilisation of citizens can make all the difference. Numbers can sometimes tip the scales…
Heritage and waves
With the numerous threats facing the coastal natural heritage and the waves, their preservation and maintenance is no small feat. Pollution, coastal developments, dredging and port extensions are all factors that may cause the disappearance of, or cause damage to, protected natural sites or the waves. The Keepers are defending this natural heritage, which is so fragile.