We are a working group dedicated to project managing the proposed Ocean Decade programme "Citizens of Surf"; which applied to be an official Ocean Decade programme in Jan 2021. The programme is a multi-country, 10 year effort to work with surf communities to collect and monitor environmental indicators and compile a marine social-ecological systems model of each surf break. There are 5 phases: 1. Scientific research on the synergies between surfing and ocean literacy.
2. Ocean Literacy communication strategy. 3. Ongoing networking with surfing NGO’s, marine conservation organisations, local stakeholders, research institutions, policy members and the public. 4. A specialised "Surfer Citizen Science" phd research project investigating the Smartfin methodology. 5. Phases 1-4 will inform further strategy regarding implementation of surfing citizen programmes, integrating new methods (and refining existing ones) of data collection to monitor microplastic pollution and biodiversity; scaling up to include more communities and countries until a global surfing population target is in sight.
As we await the outcome to the Ocean Decade Programme submission, many aspects of the project and group are moving forward, particularly in Phase One: Research. This includes conducting systematic literature reviews and preliminary studies to determine the current status of this area of research.
We would like to remain closely connected with the Ocean Decade as we feel our area is considerably overlooked in Ocean Science, yet provides many opportunities to explore Challenge 10: ensuring multiple values and services of the ocean for human wellbeing, culture and sustainable development are widely understood; and identify and overcome barriers to behaviour change required for a step change in humanity's relationship with the ocean.