Surfers Against Sewage – Environmental Partners

Over the last 3 decades, marine conservation charity SAS has been responsible for not just waking people up to the issues surrounding coastal water quality, but shaking up the way we operate as environmental activists, driving the agenda from the beach front to the front bench. Image: Paul Slater Images

A giant inflatable turd, a surfer in a gas mask, a board bearing the legend ‘S.A.S.’  – has there ever been a more literal, identifiable, arresting, unifying and yet somehow uplifting image of environmental protest?

Over the last 3 decades, campaigning marine conservation charity Surfers Against Sewage  has managed to impact not just coastal water quality and governmental policy but our very approach towards environmental activism to truly effect change. Growing from a small, hardy band of Cornish surf activists in 1990 to a nationwide movement of switched on environmental champions, thousands strong, SAS has taken the fight for clean waters from the beach front to the front bench and beyond.

They have fought, campaigned and advocated for our marine environment, effecting positive change on a policy and personal level. A testament to the power of community, we’re honoured to be working with SAS as our environmental partners, shining a light on the riches of our saltwater playgrounds and highlighting how they can be preserved and enhanced.

Sick of Sewage? Get involved with SAS and make your voice heard. Image: Mat Arney

Speaking about our partnership SAS said: “The London Surf / Film Festival is an incredible event, bringing together the surf community to tell amazing stories in a unique way. We’re incredibly proud to be their environmental partner, and know that we can work together to showcase why our oceans are so special through the lens of people who are immersed in it.”

SAS is about people and pressure, deeds and words, problems and solutions, commitment and community. They are the voice of the ocean. And while today, SAS is about more than just surfers, more than just sewage – tackling inland waterways, plastic pollution, the climate emergency and ocean recovery – it’s still there, at the heart of the movement. Who doesn’t check the sewage pollution alerts before they go surfing? If you don’t, you’re going to wish you did: In 2021 alone sewage discharged into rivers and seas 370,000 times for a total of 2.7 million hours, which is totally crap, literally. Join the movement:

Chris Hines MBE is one of the founders of SAS, taking the fight for clean water from the beaches to the front benches at Westminster. Image: SAS Archive


This Sh1t ain’t over! Water companies are still dumping raw sewage into the water ways and oceans. Make a difference: turn up to protests, sign petitions, lobby your MP, write to the water companies, join SAS. Image: Grant Winter