USA Surfing coach Brett Simpson leaders Toyota USA Surfing Championship surfers and families in a beach clean up at Lower Trestles
(April 22, 2021) – To mark Earth Day, USA Surfing is teaming up with ocean conservation artist Wyland and his foundation to raise awareness and support for clean oceans, leveraging the powerful platform of surfing’s Olympic debut this summer.
“Surfers have a powerful connection to the ocean and naturally feel a responsibility for keeping oceans clean and healthy,” said USA Surfing COO Andrea Swayne. “USA Surfing is stoked to be joining with the Wyland Foundation to mark surfing’s historic Olympic debut and promote clean oceans.”
“Wyland is a huge fan of surfing and surfing’s playing field – the ocean,” said Wyland Foundation president Steve Creech. “Surfing’s debut on the world’s largest sporting stage, is an incredible opportunity to promote clean oceans, healthy marine life and surfing!”
To kick off the USA Surfing/Wyland partnership, the organizations, along with KCBS2/KCAL9, will be holding national cleanups. People can take part wherever they are, recognizing that all waterways lead to our oceans. Log the amount of trash you collected using our online digital tool, My Volunteer Water Project.
The Wyland/USA Surfing partnership will also feature an online auction of two surfboards painted by Wyland to commemorate surfing’s first Olympic Games, as well as marine life art featured on shirts, hats and jewelry. Auction funds and a percentage of merchandise sales will support surf and clean ocean education initiatives. The online auction and link to merchandise supporting clean oceans and surfing is live and will run through the end of June. Visit usasurfing.givesmart.com
To commemorate surfing’s first Olympic Games, Wyland painted two T.Patterson surfboards, using a new twist on an ancient Japanese method of creating marine life prints. To honor the host country, Wyland used a technique inspired by Gyotaku — a 19th century Japanese method of illustrating marine life by pressing ink-soaked fish onto rice paper.
“I’m an animal lover, so I went about it a little differently,” laughed Wyland. “I took a conservationist approach leaving the animals in the ocean and bringing them to life on the board.” The surfboards will be auctioned off to raise money for USA Surfing.
Wyland named the three dolphins featured on one of the boards, “Faster, Higher and Stronger” in recognition of the Olympic motto. The second board features an Octopus – a marine creature that has become a symbol of brain power, protection and good luck. “I love how Wyland captured the athleticism and mental sharpness required for peak surfing performances with these beautiful marine animals,” Swayne said. “It is a great way to honor surfing’s first Olympics and unite the world in protecting our oceans. I can’t wait to see the conversations they start about surfing and marine life.”
Wyland’s art and the work of his nonprofit foundation have been the centerpiece of several Olympic Games. Wyland’s 100th life-sized whale mural for public spaces debuted at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. His role as Olympic artist has given him a front row seat to some epic Olympic performances, including seven Michael Phelps’ gold medals, and Serena and Venus Williams gold medal doubles match.
The board is signed by four-time world champion and Olympic surfer Carissa Moore.
Moore has hosted several beach clean ups to rid her local surf breaks in Hawaii of plastic pollution and is a Surfrider ambassador. “I want my children and the generations after to be able to walk the same beaches, surf the same reefs and enjoy the same wildlife and ocean ecosystems that have made a difference in my life,” Moore said.
Retailers interested in the new product line for Surf and Clean Ocean Initiatives can contact Andrea Swayne at USA Surfing (firstname.lastname@example.org ) or Sheri Coury at Wyland Foundation (email@example.com). For more information about the initiative, go to: https://usasurfteam.medium.com/supporting-surfings-first-olympic-games-and-clean-oceans-18d745c12b65
About the Wyland Foundation
Founded in 1993 by environmental artist Wyland (best known for his series of 100 monumental marine life murals), the Wyland Foundation, a 501c3 non-profit organization dedicated to promoting, protecting, and preserving the world’s ocean, waterways, and marine life. The foundation encourages environmental awareness through community events, education programs, and public art projects. www.wylandfoundation.org
About USA Surfing
USA Surfing is the National Governing Body for surfing in the United States, recognized by the International Surfing Association (ISA) and the United States Olympic Committee (USOC). USA Surfing’s mission is to promote and grow the sport of surfing and support United States athletes of all backgrounds to achieve sustained competitive excellence in Olympic, Paralympic, Pan American and Parapan American competition. USA Surfing will oversee and support America’s Olympic team as surfing makes its debut in the 2021 Tokyo Olympics, and surfing and stand-up paddleboarding athletes compete in the 2019 Pan American Games.
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