Groundswell: The Wave of Opposition to Enbridge

Top Canadian surfer Peter Devries rides the waves of the Great Bear Rainforest to bring attention to the damage that an oil spill could bring to the ecosystem. Photo credit Jeremy Koreski

The Huffington Post, By Chris Genovali

Raincoast Conservation Foundation has an exciting project in the works with our friends at Patagonia, a leader among environmentally-minded businesses.

Striving to alert more people about Enbridge’s desire to impose tar sands pipelines and super tankers on British Columbia’s central and north coast via their proposed Northern Gateway project, how could we inform the people of California, for instance, as they are expected to be one of the primary recipients of the “world’s dirtiest oil”?

It came to Raincoast’s surfing science director Dr. Chris Darimont while immersed in the water, literally. Why couldn’t surfers — the closest approximation of marine mammals among we humans — bring voice to this issue on behalf of whales, dolphins, porpoises and other species that would be at risk from a catastrophic oil spill on Canada’s Pacific coast? An idea for a documentary film and new outreach campaign was born.

A year later, our research vessel Achiever was equipped with a most unlikely rigging: a surfboard rack. Joining Raincoasters Chris Darimont and Captain Brian Falconer aboard Achiever were members of Patagonia’s famous surf team, including highly accomplished film maker Chris Malloy, stellar surfers/creative artists Dan Malloy and Trevor Gordon, and the gifted videographer Scott Soens. Coastal B.C. was proudly represented on Achiever as well, with Canada’s top ranked surfer Peter Devries of Tofino, and two fellow Vancouver Islanders who happen to be Canada’s premier surf photographers, Jeremy Koreski and Dean Azim.

Chris and company were off to immerse themselves in the waves of stormy October, learn from the Great Bear Rainforest, and tell its story. What they experienced changed Canadian surfing. It also changed each and every one of the expedition participants, strengthening their resolve to protect B.C.’s priceless coast. Groundswell, the film documenting this amazing surfing and wilderness adventure in Canada’s Great Bear Rainforest, will be released later this year. The trailer for Groundswell is hot off the press and it is guaranteed to pique your interest and get your blood pumping. View the trailer here.

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