Surfrider Foundation Europe is an environmental and educational charity created in 1990 by surfers and swimmers in France who were facing potential illness from polluted water. The Foundation now works to protect coastal resources by implementing programmes and campaigns to increase public awareness of the need for ocean protection and involves community members in activities that help preserve coastal resources, including beach clean-ups; outreach campaigns to involve local communities in coastal issues; coastal educational programmes, including exhibitions to school children; testing of nearshore water quality. Surfrider Foundation Europe has an active grassroots membership of 10,000 individuals and 50 local branches in 14 European countries. The organisation has implemented environmental programmes and developed a network of partnerships and coalitions with local, regional, and national governments and European NGOs. The Foundation is an affiliate of the worldwide Surfrider community.
The Foundation launched a Campus in Biarritz in 2010 creating a research and education hub to develop socially conscious campaigns and a grant was awarded to facilitate collaboration between environmental and artistic activists to create exhibitions, lectures, experiments, live performances bringing messages of sustainable development to encourage people to re-think their habits and all offered free to the public in a variety of settings – schools, universities, firms, institutions, sport and cultural events.
“Surfrider Foundation Europe deeply believes that the artist, as a citizen, has an important role to play with its creations to inform the public about sustainable topics.”