The World Surf League has long been the subject of bitter criticism. From the rebranding’s wild ambitions to bogus judging, it seems like everyone has something negative to say about the governing body these days. That, however, may soon change. Today the WSL announced their latest endeavor, WSL PURE (Progressive Understanding and Respect for the Environment), a new philanthropic branch dedicated to giving back to the ocean.
“All of us at the World Surf League want to give back to the oceans, and it’s time to get serious,” said World Surf League CEO, Paul Speaker. “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.”
To begin their latest venture, the WSL has joined forces with Columbia University’s Earth Institute and contributed an initial $1.5 million to Lamont-Doherty researchers as they lead pioneering research in a variety of issues, including ocean health and 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.

“The WSL PURE and Columbia partnership is a unique way to marry research, education, an 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.
The WSL’s latest partnership illustrates their commitment to join forces with top experts in ocean research in order to combat the pressing issues that are affecting our oceans. After all, our government isn’t doing everything it can. Things like pollution, climate change, and overfishing are very real and occurring at an alarming rate. They must be dealt with immediately in order to ensure a healthy existence for future generations.