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SIMA awards $204,300 to 7 environmentalist groups


San Clemente, Calif. -- The Surf Industry Manufacturers Association (SIMA) announced today that a record total of $204,300 in grants has been awarded to seven environmental groups seeking to protect the world´s oceans, beaches and surf breaks through the SIMA Environmental Fund, the charitable environmental foundation for the surf industry. The SIMA Environmental Fund awards environmental grants annually as part of the surf industry´s on-going commitment to the ocean environment.

The 2001 SIMA Environmental Fund grants were awarded to the Alaska Wilderness League, American Oceans Campaign, Heal The Bay, Hidden Harbor, Ocean Institute, Save Our Surf and Surfrider Foundation based on their dedication to programs designed to keep the oceans clean, preserve beach access and protect surf breaks. The record-setting $204,300 in grants was made possible by the efforts of the Fund´s annual industry fundraiser, the Waterman´s Weekend. Since 1989, the Waterman´s Weekend has raised more than $1.75 million for various environmental organizations through SIMA Environmental Fund grants.

"The surf industry seems to raise the bar each year when it comes to supporting the SIMA Environmental Fund and the fundraising efforts of the Waterman´s Weekend," said Dick Baker, president of SIMA and chief executive of Op Apparel Corp. "I´m honored to be part of an industry that can put aside competitive interests for the good of the environment. To be able to award a record amount of more than $200,000 in grants is especially rewarding for the industry as the funds will go to protect and maintain that which the industry so loves - oceans, beaches and surf breaks."

The 12th annual Waterman´s Weekend, held August 3 - 4, 2001 at the St. Regis Monarch Beach Hotel, featured record-setting attendance, including nearly 800 members of the surf industry and their guests attending the August 4 Waterman´s Ball and Auction. With the addition of the inaugural Waterman´s Classic golf tournament on August 3 at the Monarch Beach Golf Links, fundraising efforts were also record-setting. The Waterman´s Classic not only featured surf industry golfers but some of the world´s top professional surfers, such as Kelly Slater, Rob Machado, Brad Gerlach and Benji Weatherly.

"The condition and accessibility of the ocean environment is vital not only to the industry, but it´s also a personal crusade for many of us working in it," stated Paul Naude, chairman of the SIMA Environmental Committee and CEO for Billabong USA. "Like many of those in the industry, I have been surfing since I was very young. To us the waves and beaches are our livelihood and our playground. That´s why the SIMA Environmental Fund and Waterman´s Weekend have been so effective in impacting the environment."

Organizations earmarked for SIMA Environmental Fund grants are selected each year by the Environmental Fund Committee based on the organizations activism programs. The committee seeks beneficiaries that are dedicated to programs that keep waters and beaches safe and clean for surfing activities, such as clean ocean programs, preservation of the ocean environment and protection of surf breaks. As one of the major beneficiaries of the 2001 SIMA Environmental Fund grants, Surfrider Foundation´s 2002 action programs include educational programs that will reach 1,500 classrooms in the United States; wider distribution of ocean water quality test results; drafting water quality legislation; and fights to save waves in Hawaii, New Jersey and California.

"SIMA and the surf industry have always been supportive of Surfrider Foundation and our efforts," said Chris Evans, executive director of Surfrider Foundation. "This year´s grant support, however, was a big step up and really shows the surf industry´s level of commitment to protecting the ocean environment for surfers."

The Surf Industry Manufacturers Association (SIMA) is the official working trade association of more than 700 surf industry suppliers. Founded in 1989, SIMA is a non-profit organization that serves to promote awareness of the surf industry and participation in the sport of surfing through public relations efforts and a variety of services, educational programs and research. In addition, SIMA actively supports oceanic environmental efforts through its 501(c)(3) charitable environmental foundation, the SIMA Environmental Fund. In the past 12 years, SIMA´s Environmental Fund has raised more than $1.75 million for environmental groups seeking to protect the world´s oceans, beaches and waves.

SIMA Press Release

Environment / Industry - Surfersvillage.

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