SAN CLEMENTE, Calif. (August 29, 2005) — The Surf Industry Manufacturers Association (SIMA) Environmental Fund raised $400,000 during the 16th annual Waterman’s Weekend environmental fundraiser, August 26-27, 2005, at The St. Regis Resort & Spa in Dana Point, Calif. The proceeds raised will be distributed in the form of grants to 10 environmental organizations dedicated to protecting and preserving the ocean environment through programs designed to reduce urban runoff pollution, protect fabled surf breaks, conserve sensitive coastal areas and to educate young people about ocean pollution prevention and conservation.
SIMA is proud to have met the ambitious goal set by the SIMA Environmental Fund Board of Directors of raising $400,000. In the past 16 years, $3 million has been raised at Waterman’s Weekend to benefit environmental organizations dedicated to saving our oceans and waves. From the humble beginnings of Waterman’s Weekend in 1989, the funds raised have grown as the surf industry itself has thrived; in 2001 Waterman’s hit a milestone by raising approximately $200,000, marking a notable increase from any previous year. The net proceeds have climbed steadily every year since. The $400,000 raised at this year’s event sets a new record for the most funds raised in the history of Waterman’s Weekend.
“The surf industry has a genuine and relentless commitment to protecting the oceans waves that are crucial to our businesses, said Paul Naudé, chairman of the SIMA Environmental Fund and CEO of Billabong USA. “SIMA is greatly appreciative of all the sponsors and attendees who made the Waterman’s Weekend a phenomenal success and allows us to grant $400,000 to projects that will have a tangible and measurable effect on protecting and preserving our oceans for future generations of surfers and ocean lovers to enjoy. As we continue to experience growth in our businesses, the SIMA Environmental Fund hopes the surf industry will continue to unite and support the very deserving Waterman’s Weekend environmental beneficiaries.
The 10 environmental organizations selected to receive a percentage of the proceeds from the Waterman’s Weekend in the form of a 2005 SIMA Environmental Fund grant are: Surfrider Foundation, Ocean Institute, Wildcoast, Heal the Bay, Orange County CoastKeeper, Surfing Education Association, Alaska Wilderness League, Seymour Marine Discovery Center, Algalita Marine Research Foundation and Save the Waves Coalition. Each organization was chosen by the SIMA Environmental Fund Board of Directors based on their commitment of funds to specific projects that will protect and preserve oceans, beaches and/or surf breaks. All of the organizations are returning beneficiaries.
In selecting the 2005 SIMA Environmental Fund grant recipients, the SIMA Environmental Fund Board of Directors requested that applicants submit a proposal detailing how the funds would be used to improve the ocean ecology or surf locations. Each organization’s proposal included a description of the specific program that the grant would be directed to, including a justification of the program and expected environmental impact. Next spring, SIMA will publish an environmental report card, publicizing how the environmental groups that received funding for 2005 used their grant money and what the impact of their efforts was on the environment.
The SIMA Environmental Fund is a 501(c)(3) charitable foundation formed by the surf industry to provide support in the form of grants to environmental organization. The annual Waterman’s Weekend serves as the primary fundraiser for the SIMA Environmental Fund through the Waterman’s Classic Golf Tournament and Waterman’s Ball and Auction. More than 160 golfers turned out for the Waterman’s Classic on August 26 at the Monarch Beach Golf Links. The Waterman’s Ball and Auction on August 27 attracted 850 people and filled the ballroom of The St. Regis Monarch Beach Resort & Spa to capacity.
In additionn to raising funds for the environment, the Waterman’s Ball and Auction serves as an occasion to celebrate surfing and honor some of the sport’s most influential people. This year, SIMA honored three-time world champion Andy Irons as Waterman of the Year for his role in raising the bar on competitive surfing and for inspiring a new generation of surfers. Chris Evans, former executive director of the Surfrider Foundation, was honored as Environmentalist of the Year for his commitment to growing the influence and reach of Surfrider and protecting our oceans and beaches. Larry “Flame Moore, a legendary surf photographer, was honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award for his influence, leadership and inspiration as a pioneering surf photographer.
The Surf Industry Manufacturers Association (SIMA) is the official working trade association of more than 300 surf industry suppliers. Founded in 1989, SIMA is a non-profit organization that serves to promote awareness of the surf industry and participation in the sport of surfing through public relations efforts and a variety of services, educational programs and research. In addition, SIMA actively supports oceanic environmental efforts through its 501(c)(3) charitable environmental foundation, the SIMA Environmental Fund. In the past 16 years, the SIMA Environmental Fund has raised $3 million for environmental groups seeking to protect the world’s oceans, beaches and waves.
Photos will be available online at www.sima.com on August 31.