Kelly Slater Helping Clean Up Bali

Surfing’s 11-time and current world champion Kelly Slater is joining the effort to help clean up Bali by donating a surf board and offering to give his time and money to turn the tide of the seemingly careless disregard for the environment that has permeated the holiday island.

 Surfing’s 11-time and current world champion Kelly Slater is joining the effort to help clean up Bali by donating a surf board and offering to give his time and money to turn the tide of the seemingly careless disregard for the environment that has permeated the holiday island.

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 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.”

The funds collected from the sale of Slater’s surfboard and his monetary donation will be given to the ROLE Foundation, a local environmental non-profit organization who has taken the lead in undertaking coastal environmental projects attempting to slow down and ultimately reverse the destructive pollution that is ravaging Bali.

Michael O’Leary from the ROLE Foundation was extremely gratified when he heard the news, saying “We are over the moon and very thankful to Kelly for his kind donation, putting up a surfboard for auction and his offer to match the proceeds. These funds will be extremely useful to us in implementing our projects. We are so grateful for the Champs support and the awareness it brings, as Bali is in dire straights and it needs action Now!”

He went on to add, “Bali’s ocean, beaches, waterways and reefs are under massively destructive pollution attacks from on estimated 5,000 tons of solid waste illegally dumped daily with little to no liquid waste management infrastructure. All this waste eventually finds its way into the waterways and down to the ocean that surrounds Bali, destroying her reefs and killing her marine life. Some companies like Coca-Cola Amatil Indonesia and Quiksilver have initiated helpful and effective CSR programs, but more businesses here need to follow their lead or all hope is lost, forever. It’s time to give back and help this once pristine island.”

Quiksilver and Coca-Cola Amatil Indonesia joined forces back in 2008 in a concerted effort to tackle the disturbing issue of trash on Bali’s beaches, ever-increasing water pollution, and saving the endangered sea turtles. Since then they have expended in excess of $200,000 USD each year funding programs in the attempt to clean up the beaches and water supplies, as well as setting up the Kuta Beach Sea Turtle Conservation.

In addition to these efforts, coming up on July 6th of this year Quiksilver and Coca-Cola Amatil Indonesia are hosting their 2nd annual Big Bali Eco Weekend on Kuta Beach. According to Quiksilver Marketing Executive for SEA Holly Monkman, “This will be our best opportunity to talk directly to Bali’s top local government officials including Governor of Bali - I Made Mangku Pastika, Minister of Tourism and the Creative Economy Indonesia - Mari Elka Pangestu and Minister of Environment Indonesia - Balthasar Kambuaya. As well as tourism and industry leaders. We’ll have Quiksilver surfing legends Mark Richards, Tom Carroll, and Martin Potter and others here to help share our concerns and to stir up a action in this fight for a clean Bali.”

“Our goal this year is to raise enough funds to buy sand grids to add to the back of our three beach tractors and to continue to educate the local community and local businesses in how to care for and preserve the precious natural resources of this special island. We all need to work together for positive change,” she concluded.