On August 2nd, actress and activist Rosario Dawson hosted a beach clean-up at the 2023 US Open of Surfing in Huntington Beach. The event was presented by the SHISEIDO Blue Project in partnership with World Surf League’s One Ocean Initiative, and WILDCOAST (an international team that conserves coastal and marine ecosystems and addresses climate change through natural solutions). Conserving the ocean requires marine protected areas, managing fisheries, and cleaning up what goes into the sea. Beach clean-ups reduce litter and protect critical habitats for wildlife. They help raise awareness about other issues in our oceans and galvanize communities to care.
Established in 2019, SHISEIDO Blue Project is a global effort to promote the protection of our ocean. Through this initiative, SHISEIDO and WSL have collaborated on a series of activities that promote respect for our oceans, including cleaning up beaches, coral restoration, leading global initiatives like WSL One Ocean, and promoting ocean and sun-safe habits.
For SHISEIDO Blue Project’s third-annual West Coast beach clean-up, there was no one better to host the event than Rosario Dawson. More than a beautiful face, Dawson is an actress and activist who openly speaks out about injustice and her beliefs. She is the founder and president of the Rio Dawn Foundation which backs organizations leading the charge in tackling the planet’s most pressing social, economic, environmental, and health challenges through passionate advocacy and dedicated philanthropy. Dawson is also featured in the documentary Common Ground. Winner of the Tribeca Film Festival, Common Ground provides hope for future generations with concrete ways to fix a broken planetary system, by exploring how regenerative agriculture can help heal the soil, our health, and the planet.
Dawson got down and dirty as she motivated the crowd of clean-up volunteers explaining the importance of environmental responsibility. “Ocean restoration is huge for me. I grew up in a coastal place. I’m from New York. I’m from Coney Island particularly, so the beach is very important to me. And the idea of that One Ocean. We are not leaving this place for our children the way that we got it. And that’s just, not on my watch. I’m gonna make sure to do everything on my watch because I got to experience that beauty when I was a kid and it’s only gotten worse since then.”
Dawson proclaimed, “This is an all-hands on deck moment.” When asked how to encourage those who don’t believe they alone can do anything and how can one person make a difference, she recounts how this very topic came up with her daughter. She explained to her that, “We need everyone to participate, and there’s all different kinds of way to show up. We need artists to make signs and write, you know, beautiful things that make people understand what we’re trying to deal with here. If we all did our part, we’re good to go.” Dawson left the volunteers with a feeling of hope, as she concluded her speech and grabbed her clean-up gear.
This clean-up brought the community together to learn more about and inspire action for the #WSLOneOcean initiative. Visit https://www.worldsurfleague.com/wsloneocean to learn more about the initiative and get involved with the “Speak Up for the Ocean” campaign.