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SAS Factfile

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SAS Factfile

  1. 1. SOCIAL ACTION RESEARCH Name: Hayley Roberts
  2. 2. The Client: Surfers Against Sewage (SAS) is a UK based charity that focuses on the environment and protecting the ocean, beaches and waves so that when people go to the beach they can have a safe and enjoyable time. They also focus on keeping the beaches and waves sustainable so that they are always there for future generations to enjoy and so this means after doing research into why our beaches are becoming so bad, they can make a way forward with it. There main focus is marine litter, climate change, sewage pollution, toxic chemicals, shipping and costal development. All these are something that they charity raises money for so that they can help clear the litter from the beaches and stop sewage pollution so that they make it a lot safer and sustainable for people by doing so. The charity have set a couple of objectives for themselves so that they have something to aim for and gives the goals to achieve so they know they have done it. They also have set themselves a number of aims for them to achieve so that they can get what they want to do recognised and achieved. These include influencing the government on the key issues that effects the oceans and beaches, challenging the industry to gain better standards for the protection of costal environments, educate communities to help make sustainable solutions and protect the oceans and beaches, create volunteering opportunities so that people can be involved with activities and inform the general public about issues in the UK that is affecting beaches and waves. The charity was established in 1990 by a group of local surfers and people who loved the beach and the charity created a national movement calling for improved water quality. In the early 1990’s, SAS was really effective for a change and by pressing on the key pieces of legislation and collating health evidence and by connecting precious disparate groups of surfers became one of the best-recognised environmental campaign movements of the 1990’s. They started this charity because the SAS feel that waves and surfing deserves to be seen as part of the UK heritage and deserves recognition and protection through political debates and legislations. The SAS is funded through memberships, donations, grant making bodies, profits from the merchandise, supporter fundraiser events and project sponsorship. The SAS is built up of voluntary workers that feel so passionate about the charity and want to make a change. Their costs are kept to a minimum and recycling is used so that it reduces the impact on the environment.
  3. 3. The Issues: The SAS have a range of different issues that they want to campaign on to try and make the beaches and waves in the UK a lot safer. Water quality is the first issue that they are campaigning on as the quality of water can be damaged from diffuse pollution and sewage contamination which are the most serious factors of water quality threats. Diffuse pollution is a main factor that can cause loss in water quality and this can be done by road, urban and agricultural run-off and leakage from septic tanks and this can make a significant impact when looking at the quality of water. The Environment Agency is responsible for testing bathing waters about 20 times a week, the samples are then analysed against the standards set in the European Bathing Water Directive and is only done during the bathing season. The SAS also campaigns for marine litter as it’s a really big issue on beaches and over the past 15 years the amount of marine litter washed up on beaches has doubled. Marine litter includes waste from beach users, sewage debris, medical waste, shipping debris and fishing waste. When people little plastic elements on a beach, they are not biodegradable and if a plastic bottle is left on a beach it can last up to 450 years which can then make the landscapes look unpleasant and they can also injure animals if swallowed. Items such as metal that has rusted or broken glass can injure people if they don’t look where they are going and it gets stuck in their feet. This can then give the beach a bad reputation and make it look so unpleasant when people turn up to the beach. Another issue is protecting waves as when your surfing big waves is what you need but a number of issues stops this from happening. This could be solid structures & commercial activities, pollution, non-polluting contamination (litter) and restricted areas. If you have a solid brick wall underneath the sea, this can stop big waves from appearing as if breaks it up with the wall. This then won’t ever go away and reduces the amount of people surfing as there isn’t a lot of areas that are available to surf on. Some people deny access to surfers who are wanting to surf in restricted areas. This is because people claim it’s private territory so then surfers don’t have the right to go on their bit of land. If people litter and it gets carried out to the water, this can make surfing experiences really unpleasant as they will be getting bits of litter caught to them and when your underwater it’s something that isn’t nice to see or be around and this will then put them off from surfing in that area. When there is sewage in the water or fertalisers of some sort or just anything that is a pollutant,
  4. 4. The Issues: This can be something that will not be seen physically but can then make it unpleasant and hard to surf with because it will be damaging the water. Climate change is something that is happening really fast and this is causing unusual weather patterns and a lot more warmer weather. This is another issue that the SAS want to try and overcome because heavy rainfall and sea level rise is likely to have a he impact on the coast and surfing. If it then starts to rain more frequent it can cause sewage overflows and more health risks for people using the water. Flooding can then mobilise pollutants into the marine environment and chemicals and pollutants is likely to pose a significant health risk to people using the water. Toxic chemicals are released into the sewage system from sinks, toilets and showers and these can be thousands which are really harmful. The sewage systems are then designed to eliminate all the harmful pathogens and they then set up to remove many of the chemicals which then ends up in our marine environment and water. One of the chemicals is called parabens can affect the hormones of the sea life. The Environment Agency did a test and they found that a third of male fish in the UK rivers were displaying signs of feminisation. The last issue that they are faced with is the shipping issue. There was a serious issue in 1967 when there was an oil disaster in Cornwall’s coastline and this is something that can damage waters and marine life. The UK is still under constant threat of another oil leak and in UK there are shipping accidents of one type or another every winter and around the world there is a lot of oil spills which are more dangerous than the one that happened in Cornwall. The charity have two main objectives that they are wanting to still achieve to help make beach environments a lot safer. There first objective is that they want to promote for the benefit of the public and the protection and improvement of the marine environment including associated land, shoreline and structures. Their second objective is to advance the education of the public in the protection and improvement of the marine environment including associated land, shoreline and structures. They have managed to gain a number of awards for all there work over the years and gained recognition for this. There awards include; Lovie Awards 2013 (Silver), Portuguese Surf Film Festival 2013, Surf At Lisbon Film Festival 2013, Cornwall Today Awards 2013, Sony World Photography Awards 2013 (3rd Place), Creative Circle Awards 2012 (Silver), Lovie Awards 2012 (Silver), Observer Ethical Awards 2012 and the BBC Coast Awards 2010.
  5. 5. Facts And Figures: Marine litter is something that is becoming more popular on beaches and cause serious damage to people visiting the beach and the animals that live on the beaches. Over 100,000 marine mammals and over 1 million seabirds die every year from ingestion of and entanglement in marine litter. The MCS Beachwatch Survey that was conducted in 2012 showed the percentage of debris that was found on the beach and what the debris was. 40.4% was from the public, 4.5% was sewage related debris, 13.9% was fishing litter, 0.7% was fly tipping, 3.9% was shipping litter, 0.2% was medical waste and 36.6% was non-sourced. This is a wide range of different debris which makes it harder for the SAS to help clear because there is so many different types. A normal plastic bottle that is left on a beach can be there for 450 years before it actually starts to erode as plastic is not biodegradable. When it comes to water quality and the combined sewer overflow (CSO), there are approximately 31,000 CSOs around the UK, many of which are completely unregulated. This can damage the water quality and make it difficult to swim in when it’s been effected by sewage overflows. When it comes to climate change, the SAS feel that there will be a lot of change for the UK’s weather in the next few decades. They think that the UK’s climate will become warmer. High summer temperatures will be more frequent. Cold winter temperatures will become increasingly rare. Winters will become wetter. Intense rainfall events in winter will become more frequent. Summer may become drier but the rainfall events may be more intense. Relative sea levels will rise. Extreme high sea levels will be experienced more frequently. In 2014 SRD was responsible for 253,000 blockages in the sewer system and the clean up costs in excess of £80 million. Wessex Water estimates the amount of SRD taken out of their sewers at pumping stations and sewage treatment works (wet weight including grit and FOGs) as around 10,000 tones per year. Moving more from the issues and on the SAS charity themselves, they have done on their website a breakdown of how they spend peoples donations and what they use it on. 84% of the money goes on their work protecting the UK’s coastline, beach cleans, education and campaigns. 6% goes on administration and 10% goes on fundraising. It also shows the breakdown of how peoples money helps and what a certain amount of the money does. £1 will pay for a butt bin to help keep cigarette butts off our beaches. Whereas £25,000 could help to pay for our education project for the year and inspire the next generation of environmental activists and then there is a range of other donations in between.

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