Promoters of the Ocean Aid concert launched a publicity drive in Orange County on Wednesday in an effort to attract surfers and beach-goers to the two-day event next month that is aimed at raising money to clean up the oceans.
"You see all kinds of garbage in the waters and under your board," said Wendy Botha, a 23-year-old champion surfer from Australia. "People have to understand that the oceans need help."
In order to snare the attention of the younger crowd, concert promoters held a news conference in Huntington Beach, where one of the world's top surfing events, the Op Pro Surfing Championship, is in its third day.
The concert, to be held Sept. 3 and 4 at the Irvine Bowl in Laguna Beach, is the first fund-raiser for the Ocean Aid Foundation, which was established last year by Tustin-based Ocean Pacific Sunwear Ltd., a manufacturer of beachwear. New Wave rock band Devo will headline the concert, which is expected to raise about $50,000 for groups that specialize in protecting the ocean, including Save Our Shores in Laguna Beach and Heal the Bay in Santa Monica, Ocean Pacific spokesman Jerry Crosby said.
"It's so bad in the water nowadays that you can't eat the local fish" said drummer John Vatos, a member of Food for Feet, another band that will appear at the concert. "There's got to be a push somewhere for people to realize what is happening in their oceans."
Surfer Brian Lucas, 15, of Huntington Beach, who was watching the championship, said he would go to the concert as well as get more information about cleaning up the waters.
"I know so much is polluting the waters," Brian said. "Something like the big oil spill (in Alaska) ruins the ocean, and you ain't going to be able to surf in that."
Crosby said that pamphlets and petitions concerning ocean issues will be distributed to the audience during the concert.
Dorothy Green, president of Heal the Bay, said that donations would help defray the cost of printing pamphlets detailing the extent of ocean pollution.
"We can use whatever money we can lay our hands on," Green said.
She said her organization has been successful in reaching out to younger people. "We count on these young people to talk to their peers and let them know what is going on at their own shores."
Beth Leeds, president of Save Our Shores, said young people want to help the ocean cleanup effort, but many do not know where to start.
"They know the Pacific Ocean off our own coasts has gotten worse. They are willing and able to help," Leeds said.