Are you concerned about the state of the world’s oceans? You should be—they’re warming, acidifying, and rising at an alarming rate. Thankfully, brilliant minds around the world are working to mitigate these threats where possible and to address many other issues of ocean conservation. Many of those minds will converge in Santa Cruz, California, March 4-7, 2018 for the 5th annual Global Waves Conference, hosted by the Save the Waves Coalition and the Surfrider Foundation, to give public presentations about ocean health, and what we can all do about it.

These are the people and groups doing the serious work, putting in the hard yards in a fight to keep our coastlines and surf zones as pristine and clean as possible, something lots of us surely take for granted. To have so many of them in one place so they can share their work and inspire listeners to take up the fight to clean our oceans is a special event indeed.

But it’s also about how to take action. Gathering the brightest lights in conservation, technology, marine science, and surf culture can build connections that foster new ways to tackle problems, while also sharing concrete and actionable tips about how we can protect our cherished coastlines.

“For me, the conference is important because it brings together the surf, conservation, and tech communities so that they can build off each other in major efforts to protect our waves,” said Nik Strong-Cvetich of Save the Waves. “We all have to go all in on this.”

Themes for this conference include: The Land To Sea Connection; Protected Areas; and Climate Change and Innovation. The presentation list is impressive and includes talks on everything from the economic value of a surf spot, the legal frameworks for protecting surf spots, the challenges of plastic pollution and reef health, utilizing technologies for combatting pollution threats, sustainability within the surf industry, and lots more. Keynote speakers include surf stars like Greg Long and Shaun Tomson, among scientists and celebrated ocean activists. There will be presentations on Santa Cruz’s rich surf history, and a screening of the Save the Waves Film Festival.

Everything’s happening down at the Dream Inn, the lovely hotel on the cliffs just above Cowells, at the foot of Steamer Lane.

Tickets for the multi-day event are now on sale here. Something to keep in mind: Prices go up after February 2nd, if you’re inclined to attend.

Here’s a little taste of last year’s conference: