World Surf League Announces WSL PURE: Innovative Philanthropy Dedicated to Understanding, Protecting and Improving the World’s Oceans

NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The World Surf League has announced the creation of WSL PURE
(Progressive Understanding and Respect for the Environment), its
philanthropic initiative dedicated to supporting ocean health through
the key areas of research, education and advocacy.

In its first initiative, WSL PURE is launching a unique partnership with
Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, one of the
leading Earth science centers, to fund critical research into ocean
health. In addition, WSL PURE is helping to create the curriculum for
programs in ocean studies to be offered for students at Columbia
University’s School of Professional Studies.

This partnership illustrates the World Surf League’s commitment to join
forces with world leaders in ocean research and create funding
mechanisms for ocean health at a time when the marine environment is at
a critical juncture, with rapidly growing issues of pollution, climate
change, and overfishing, but diminished government funding for ocean
research and little global representation for the oceans themselves.

“All of us at the World Surf League want to give back to the oceans, and
it’s time to get serious,” said Paul Speaker, CEO of the World Surf
League. “Today’s launch of WSL PURE and our very special partnership
with Columbia University are the first steps in what we hope will become
a global movement among our community and beyond, to protect the waters
that are both our home and our playing field. By creating a generation
of ‘surfer scientists,’ we aspire to create a voice for the oceans and
to inspire and empower our global fan base and partners to become better
informed about the issues plaguing the oceans, while providing
educational opportunities so that we can become an important part of
real-world solutions.”

WSL PURE has contributed an initial $1.5 million in funding that will
support Lamont-Doherty scientists as they lead pioneering research in
ocean health & ecosystems, ocean acidification, sea-level rise, and the
role the oceans play in climate change. All of the scientific findings
will be shared publicly and transparently, as is standard practice.

One of the scientists who will benefit from this funding is marine
biologist Sonya Dyhrman. “The funding provided by WSL PURE provides
unique flexibility and freedom,” said Dyhrman. “This will allow me to
push my work into new directions and pursue the most pressing research
in a bold and innovative way.”

“We are proud to be the launch partner of WSL PURE,” said Jason Wingard,
dean of the School of Professional Studies. “Investing in programming in
the field of ocean science will prepare future generations of
scientists, citizens and expert practitioners who will have a broad and
positive impact on our environment’s future.”

“Our oceans and climate are changing faster than our ability to keep
pace,” said Peter de Menocal, oceanographer, professor and director of
the Columbia Center for Climate and Life at Lamont-Doherty Earth
Observatory. “WSL PURE allows us to accelerate the urgent science we
need to understand how these changes will impact things people care
about most – our access to food, water, shelter and energy. Just last
week, Australian scientists reported that 95% of the northern half of
the Great Barrier Reef was bleached by warming waters. We’re basically
playing catch-up to understand what these changes mean for us and the
planet.”

WSL PURE will be making announcements in the coming months regarding the
next phases of the program, including opportunities for individuals
around the world to become a part of a global movement designed to
empower people locally, regionally and internationally.

“The WSL PURE and Columbia partnership is a unique way to marry
research, education, and advocacy in a way that can bring powerful
studies to the global community,” said Greg Muth, director of WSL PURE
and a member of the graduate school faculty at Columbia University’s
School of Professional Studies. “This collaboration incorporates
traditional philanthropy as well as a hybrid reinvestment model into
research and education. Over time, we expect this will create
self-sustaining funding for research.”

“Surfing is unique in that its playing field is a living ecosystem,”
said Jessi Miley-Dyer, former pro surfer and women’s commissioner of the
World Surf League. “As surfers, it is incumbent upon us to do what we
can to protect the oceans. Partnering with Lamont-Doherty and Columbia
University is a great way to support thorough research into ocean health
and I’m excited to see where it leads.”

“Surfing has become a truly global sport with fans and athletes in every
corner of the world,” concluded Speaker. “With WSL PURE, we hope to
inspire everyone connected with the sport to become engaged in making
the oceans healthier for generations to come.”

About the World Surf League

The World Surf League (WSL), formerly the Association of Surfing
Professionals (ASP), is dedicated to celebrating the world’s best
surfing on the world’s best waves through a variety of best-in-class
audience platforms. The League, headquartered in Santa Monica, is a
truly global sport with regional offices in Australasia, Africa, North
America, South America, Hawaii, Japan and Europe.

The WSL has been championing the world’s best surfing since 1976,
running global events across the Samsung Galaxy Men’s and Women’s
Championship Tours, the Big Wave Tour, Qualifying Series, Junior and
Longboard Championships, as well as the WSL Big Wave Awards. The League
possesses a deep appreciation for the sport’s rich heritage while
promoting progression, innovation and performance at the highest levels.

Showcasing the world’s best surfing on its digital platform at WorldSurfLeague.com
as well as the free WSL app, the WSL has a passionate global fan base
with millions tuning in to see world-class athletes like Mick Fanning,
John John Florence, Stephanie Gilmore, Greg Long, Gabriel Medina,
Carissa Moore, Makua Rothman, Kelly Slater, Adriano de Souza and more
battle on the most unpredictable and dynamic field of play of any sport
in the world.

About Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory

Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory is Columbia University’s world-renowned
home for Earth science research. Its award-winning scientists develop
fundamental knowledge about the origin, evolution and future of the
natural world, from the planet’s deepest interior to the outer reaches
of its atmosphere, on every continent and in every ocean, providing a
rational basis for the difficult choices facing humanity.
LDEO.columbia.edu
| @LamontEarth

The Columbia Center for Climate and Life at Lamont-Doherty Earth
Observatory mobilizes over 100 scientists across disciplines to
accelerate our understanding of how climate impacts the security of
food, water, and shelter, and to explore sustainable energy solutions.
We partner with industry, finance, and governments, transferring
knowledge to build a more resilient, sustainable world.
climateandlife.columbia.edu
| @climateandlife

About the School of Professional Studies

Columbia’s School of Professional Studies is one of the premier
destinations in the world for innovative professional education. Its
mission is to provide rigorous educational offerings, informed by
rapidly evolving global market needs, which support the academic and
professional demands of individuals and organizations worldwide.
sps.columbia.edu

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