Joe Surf: 'Eco-Warrior' rides into battle again

October 05, 2011|By Joe Haakenson

James Pribram is at it again.

Laguna Beach's own "Eco-Warrior" soon will embark on another environmental rescue, this time in Bali, Indonesia.

Pribram sent me an email this week that read:

"I will be leaving Oct. 17 for Bali in an effort to help clean up 20 to 30 tons of raw waste that is being dumped in a ravine on the cliff top overlooking Uluwatu," he wrote. "This is happening due to a lack of water, proper bathrooms and sewage system. As you may know, Uluwatu is regarded as one of the best surfing waves in the world. However, many in the surfing world have no idea that this is happening. Sadly, it occurs in a lot of Third World countries that are lacking such resources.

"I will be documenting my trip and taking pictures to better illustrate the severity of this sensitive issue. After all, what good is the beach if we can't enjoy the ocean?"


Uluwatu, on Bali's Bukit Peninsula, started to become a world-renowned surf site in 1971 when Rusty Miller and Steve Cooney paddled out for the making of the film "Morning of the Earth."

Uluwatu has the combination of perfect reef formation, optimum swell direction, and seasonally predictable winds, but the growing threat of pollution has threatened its sustainability as one of the world's best surf spots.

Pribram was asked to team up with Eco Surf Rescue Uluwatu, which was initiated in June with a mission to plan, design, build and manage a waste infrastructure, facilities and associated waste management system to preserve and bring back to health the local ecosystems.

"They reached out to me to help them with their cause," Pribram said. "I'll meet with them and the local politicians and find out what's happening.

"It's my understanding water is scarce. It goes to the highest bidder, so that means it goes to the resorts, and that leaves little water for the town or the town's people. They don't have a good, functional sewer system. They're dumping raw sewage off a cliff into a ravine. It's getting into the water and getting worse and worse."

Pribram continues to show that one person can make a difference.

"One of the things about being involved in environmental issues is it's so important to go there and see if it's serious or not as serious as they're saying," Pribram said of his journeys. "You have to do some investigative reporting to find out if the claims are true before you can actually do something about it."

Huntington Beach Independent Articles Huntington Beach Independent Articles