Hey! Help Your Local Break

A new app will give you the power to immediately alert authorities to threats to your waves - if you VOTE for it

If you're an eco-conscious surfer, what do you do to directly impact the health of the ocean? In a positive way, I mean. Lord knows, probably 90-percent of our impact on the coastline is extremely, almost aggressively negative. Do you buy better-for-the-environment surfboards? Drive a hybrid? Or better yet, ride a bike to the beach? Is every purchase you make with a thought to what those products do to the oceans? That's all good. But, also, a little indirect and vague. Essential and helpful and worthy, for sure, but maybe lacking in a direct-action kinda way.

Save the Waves, an organization devoted to protecting our favorite oceanic-based resource, is trying to give us a way to have a very direct, immediate hand in protecting our coastlines. They're in the running to get funding for an app they're developing—called the Endangered Waves App—that will essentially crowdsource how beach pollution is addressed.

But first, VOTE for the app to help it win a funding contest (details below).

Works like this: See something bad at the beach? Oil spill? Boat washed ashore? Somebody dump a bunch of trash? Big, nasty fish kill? Take a photo of the offending matter with your phone, pick the closest from a list of maladies that describe what you're seeing, and your photo/beach gets geotagged and can be shared with the world. Save the Waves will take notice and alert the proper groups to deal with the problem. Just like that, you've alerted the world and the proper authorities to deal with a very specific and immediate bit of ocean pollution.

Save the Waves can eventually do all kinds of big picture things with the data the app will generate. Regional patterns can be noted, described, and acted on. Global patterns that may have otherwise slipped through the cracks can be charted. All of this through the lens of a surfer's viewpoint, a datapoint that might go unnoticed if we don't point out the coastline and surf break threats ourselves.

There is a funding contest called the HeroX Ocean Big Button Challenge that ENDS THURSDAY THE 19TH, that Save the Waves would like to win. If they do, they get $100,000 toward funding the app. The voting can be a little complicated in order to ferret out scam voting, so follow the details below, should you be so inclined.

1. Visit www.savethewaves.org/mobileapp
2. Click ‘Vote For This Submission'
3. ‘You Can Only Vote Once’ – (Click Yes)
4. Create a log in with name, email, and password
5. Retrieve the automated email in your inbox
6. Click "Activate Account"