TSP's own 'Eco Warrior' wins prestigious Environmental Award

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The award-winning James Pribram. Photo by Will Henry

The Surfer’s Path and Save The Waves’ own ‘Eco Warrior’ – surf pro/writer/environmental campaigner, James Pribram – will tonight be awarded the prestigious John Kelly Environment Award by the Oahu Chapter of the Surfrider Foundation in Hawaii. James shares the prize with the Sunset Beach’s Randy Rarick and Bob & Kelly King’s company, Pacific Biodiesel. The John Kelly Awards are given out every year by the Oahu Chapter to promote environmental activism by honoring the efforts and achievements of inspirational individuals and organizations.Categories for the awards are Lifetime Achievement, Professional Surfer, and Local Company and past winners include Kelly Slater and Rob Machado

California’s James Pribram will receive the Professional Surfer Award. James Pribram is a professional surfer, writer, television commentator, owner and operator of the Aloha School of Surfing, and active environmental leader. He is co-founder of They Will Surf Again, an organization that raises money for people who have suffered from ocean-related spinal injuries, as well as a spokesperson for Project Wipeout Ocean, Brandy’s Friends Drug Awareness Foundation, and the Surfrider Foundation.

In 2000 he was elected to the Laguna Beach Water Quality Committee, and in 2005 appointed to the Laguna Beach Environmental Committee and as board member for the Clean Water Now! Coalition. James has recently been busy traveling the globe with the Eco-Warrior project for The Surfer’s Path and the Save the Waves Coalition, sponsored by XS Energy Drinks, in an attempt to to help save surf spots around the world and promote the protection of surf spots everywhere. Alongside STW founder Will Henry, James has helped highlight threats of damage to surf spots in Chile, New Zealand, Tenerife, Panama, Spain and recently the annual killing of whales in Japan.

John M. Kelly Jr., for whom the award is named, was a surfer, shaper, and grass-roots activist, who for decades led many human rights protests, land battles, and environmental crusades on Oahu. John, who recently passed away, was the original recipient of the Lifetime Achievement category and will always be remembered as a great inspiration for the many that he touched.

Surfer, shaper and Triple Crown organizer Randy Rarick will be given this year’s Lifetime Achievement Award. As a former pro surfer, Randy has traveled extensively and surfed all over the globe, teaching kids how to surf and helping to introduce the sport in many of the world’s most remote areas. He has also been the head of the Triple Crown, the longest-running contest series in the world, for the last 25 years and helped organize surfing into a professional sport.

Through his work with the Triple Crown, Randy has been able to raise funds and contribute generously to environmental organizations like the Surfrider Foundation and Keep the North Shore Country. As an Advisory Board member of the Surfrider Foundation, Randy has consistently supported the organization by bringing Surfrider membership to the professional surfers and raising environmental awareness among the contest surfers.

Bob & Kelly King’s company Pacific Biodiesel will be honored as the Most Environmentally Friendly Hawaii-based Company Award for their successful business creating inexpensive, clean-burning fuel from waste cooking oil and other biofuels. The Kings are biodiesel pioneers, creating the first biodiesel processing plant in the Pacific Rim, and in 1996 they opened the first retail biodiesel pump in the U.S.

They have built and helped build refineries on Oahu and Maui, in Japan, Pennsylvania, Oregon, and in partnership with Willie Nelson in Texas. Currently, Pacific Biodiesel is a partner in Honolulu Clean Cities “Biodiesel from Fuel Crops in Hawai‘i” project, which will explore and evaluate crop materials currently grown in Hawai’i to determine their suitability for producing biodiesel. They are featured in a recent documentary entitled Revolution Green.

The John Kelly Perpetual Trophy is a small koa surfboard, beautifully shaped as a board from the early days of Waikiki, when the water and the sand were clean, there was no beach armoring, and beach access was mostly about roads and transportation. The trophy has been on display at the Patagonia in Haleiwa.

This year’s event will be held at the O Lounge for the first time, and after the Awards Ceremony, three live bands will perform: Sashamon, the Pricks and OPM. For a minimum $10 donation at the door, there will be $20,000 in prizes and giveaways.

For more on the Eco Warrior series check out TSP issues 55, 58, 61 and 63. Also check out our friends at Save The Waves

Jamo, keeping it clean, Tenerife. Pic by Will Henry

  1. Johnny Foucher

    Gratitude for the good environmental page. These things truly needs more attention.

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