Environmental studies class hosts “Save the Surf” event

CLARA A. UTTENTHAL, Channels Staff

Overlooking Leadbetter Beach, environmental studies students hosted the “Save the Surf” event to spread awareness about sustainability as a part of the Environmental Studies 200: “Projects In Sustainability” class.

Biology and Environmental Studies Professor Adam Green is teaching the one unit class in which students have to work in groups on a project that aims to build a more sustainable campus and community in Santa Barbara.

“The class brings people with the same ideas about sustainability and conservation together,” said Elise Gonzales, who is majoring in environmental studies.

“Save the Surf” was one of the classes overarching projects, which took place from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 18 in Parking Lot 4C.  

The focus of this project is to keep the beaches of Santa Barbara clean and protect the coastline. The passionate students hope to gain community support and for Santa Barbara to be recognized as a World Surf Reserve in order for the organization to maintain the appropriate standards of the city’s beloved coastline.

Green’s students spoke highly of the opportunities this class offers.

“It’s basically a sustainability class. We split into groups and work on different projects,” said Graciie Hernandez, who enjoys the class format.

The students have to do a final paper and a PowerPoint presentation for both their classmates and people in the community who are interested in their projects.

To support the group, there were few other vendors at the event.

Long and short sleeved shirts swayed in the wind in Sean Schottel’s booth. He was promoting the brands Serenity Surf Co. and stand up paddle apparel which are made for surfers and beach lovers.

“We’re here to support the cause [Save the Surf], meet new people, and get our business out,” said Schottel, who could not be joined by his colleague, Wendi Vincent.

For now, the brands are sold online and promoted on Instagram, but they aim to open stores around California and eventually overseas.

Anna Salcido had the stand across from Schottel. She was selling her natural coconut sunscreen which is both antibacterial and reef safe. Salcido explained how most sunscreens contain ingredients with nano particles, which can affect the coral reefs and cause them to die. The key ingredient in the handcrafted sunscreen is zinc oxide, which is good for the reef as well as the skin.

Besides the sunscreen, Salcido also sold hand painted beach bags.

Another group of Green’s students was also at the event. They were emphasizing the importance of recycling.

“We’re working with landlords in IV and talking to them about recycling,” said Randy Svoboda as he pointed to the colorful posters in front of him.

The event was laid back and the booths kept simple. All the students were enthusiastic about their projects and they all care about making Santa Barbara a better place environmentally.