Gathering at The Ecology Center to focus on sustainability, the environment and what some surfers are doing to make a difference
With the unrelenting rains, it may not seem like spring has sprung yet, but when we are finally able to string together a few sunny days, we’re going to be in for one heck of a treat.
The hills are as green as they’ve ever been, and area beaches have enjoyed some healthy sand replenishment thanks to the flowing San Juan and San Mateo Creeks.
If you’re looking for a reason to get outside and be inspired by the world around you, this Friday, March 24, The Ecology Center in San Juan Capistrano is hosting the first Blue Session.
Tackling issues surrounding sustainability, the environment and related subjects, there are several guest speakers on the bill, as well as a lineup of fun, hands-on activities. The full-day experience promises to have a little something for everyone.
“We wanted to be able to bring like-minded people together at the farm and have this experience where everyone is outside, learning, laughing and having fun,” explained Dave Winslow, the founder of The Momentum, who is producing the one-day event.
“Everything is connected; we’re not all trying to save the world in our own little silo,” Winslow continued. “Bringing people together is a celebration of that and a way for us to all move forward collectively.”
Guest speakers include Ryan Harris, who is both an innovator and pioneer in the field of sustainable surfboard construction, and Mia Helminiak, the director of Community Engagement at Nomadix.
Also on the bill is Derek Sabori, the former vice president of Global Sustainability for Volcom. Sabori has built and taught a sustainability-in-fashion curriculum at Orange Coast College and will be offering an introductory session at the event.
Chef Irving Zarate is offering a class on fermentation and upcycling food waste. Trained at Chef Rene Redzepi’s “gastronomic mecca” in Copenhagen, Zarate will bring the subject to life via his fermentation installation at The Ecology Center.
Additionally, Atlantic Packaging’s “A New Earth Project” will be there putting on demonstrations about how everything from surfboards to T-shirts can be packaged in a much more sustainable, Earth-friendly way.
Attendees can also plan on a silkscreen experience, tour of the regenerative organic farm, and plenty more. More info and tickets are available at sustainability.blue.
Shifting gears, as the WSL Championship Tour shifts its focus Down Under to Bells Beach, action on the Qualifying Series has been hot and heavy at the Cabarete Pro in the Dominican Republic.
Battling through a field of North America’s top talent, in the end it was San Clemente’s Cole Houshmand topping the podium and grabbing his first-ever QS victory.
“I haven’t really processed it yet; it’s been a long time coming,” said Houshmand after the win, adding: “I haven’t won a contest in six years, so this means a lot to me, and this place will always hold a special place in my heart now.”
“I’ve worked super hard for this, and it just felt like this was the one; stoked how it played out,” he continued. “It was an amazing Final. I have the best support crew from my family to all the San Clemente boys, and I’m sure I’ll be processing this the next few days.”
The North American Qualifying series is now off to Barbados for the next stop. And with Taj Lindblad currently ranked third, Houshmand in fourth, Jett Schilling in fifth, and Crosby Colapinto in eighth, the San Clemente crew has a lot riding on scoring some big results in the Caribbean.
The top seven men and one wild card will ultimately graduate to the WSL Challenger Series, where they’ll compete for a chance to join the prestigious Championship Tour. Jake Howard is a local surfer and freelance writer who lives in San Clemente. A former editor at Surfer Magazine, The Surfer’s Journal and ESPN, today he writes for a number of publications, including Picket Fence Media, Surfline and the World Surf League. He also works with philanthropic organizations such as the Surfing Heritage and Culture Center and the Positive Vibe Warriors Foundation.