Every year on March 22, we celebrate World Water Day, a date designated by the United Nations General Assembly back in 1993 as an opportunity to perk up and pay attention to a myriad of issues affecting the world’s water. But for some people, the fight for cleaner, safer, and healthier water is a daily battle. Here, our short list of eight water warriors to follow on Instagram for World Water Day—activists who spend as much time enjoying the water as they do protecting it.
1. Lauren L. Hill @theseakin
Who she is: Lauren L. Hill, former competitive surfer, ambassador for Women for Whales, founder of The Sea Kin. What she does: This multi-hyphenate activist (she’s a champion for numerous environmental and humanitarian causes) is the longtime love of surfer Dave “Rasta” Rastovich. She joined him on the Transparentsea Voyage, kayaking down the coast of California for a month following a pod of migrating whales to raise awareness about coastal environmental issues. What to expect when you follow: Far-flung adventures, marine mammals, stylish longboarding, and plenty of underwater posing.
2. Rob Machado @rob_machado
Who he is: Rob Machado, retired World Tour surfer, filmmaker and shaper of youth.
What he does: After years on the world stage of surfing, Machado went on to found the Rob Machado Foundation, a California-based nonprofit that educates children on how they can contribute to a healthier planet. Most recently, he worked together with his sponsor, Reef, and Pacific Panel Products to turn waste foam material into an eco-friendly surfboard.
What to expect when you follow: Surfboards, sunsets, views from the tube, and sneak peeks at his upcoming projects.
3. Cyrus Sutton @cyrus_sutton
Who he is: Cyrus Sutton, a surfer, filmmaker, founder of Korduroy TV. What he does: Sutton won an Emmy for his documentary work back in 2005, and his much-loved surf films are staples in the collections of surfers who prefer seeing surfing less as sport and more as lifestyle. He’s currently working on a film about the young farmers fighting corporate corruption and GMO farming in Hawaii. What to expect when you follow: Moody, backlit surfing, artistic island observations, and plenty of adventuremobiles.
4. Ishita Malaviya @surfishita
Who she is: Ishita Malaviya, India’s first professional female surfer.
What she does: When Malaviya started surfing at 18 off the coast of India, she was the only woman in the water—she just didn’t know it then. Since then she’s appeared in campaigns for Roxy, opened her own surf camp, and currently stars in “Beyond the Surface,” a new documentary about women working for ecological awareness in India.
What to expect when you follow: Dog portraits, smiley face pancakes, landscapes from India, and good vibes from her Shaka Surf Club.
5. Jon Rose @jon_rose
Who he is: Jon Rose, pro surfer and founder of Waves for Water. What he does: Ever since witnessing two devastating earthquakes (in Padang and Haiti) and realizing victims there had an immediate and desperate need for clean water, Rose and his nonprofit have been working to provide clean-water solutions to impoverished countries around the world. What to expect when you follow: Scenes from Waves for Water missions, POV surf shots, and ocean waves in every corner of the world.
6. Liz Clark @captainlizclark
Who she is: Liz Clark, surfer and captain of the 40-foot sailboat “Swell.”
What she does: After graduating college and feeling fed up with society, Clark bought a boat and set sail for empty breaks around the world (along with her feline friend, Amelia the Tropicat). Her blog highlights the effects of pollution she’s seen firsthand from the captain’s wheel, earning her a National Geographic Adventurer of the Year nomination.
What to expect when you follow: Tropical adventures, colorful artwork, and one of the few cats who actually seems to enjoy saltwater.
7. Dave Rastovich @daverasta
Who he is: Dave “Rasta” Rastovich, Australian pro surfer and activist. What he does: Lauren L. Hill’s longtime boyfriend has been campaigning for cleaner and more sustainable practices in the surf industry (think eco-friendly surfboard manufacturing) through face-to-face meetings with industry bigwigs for more than a decade. What to expect when you follow: Surfboard portraits, reading recommendations, contest photos, and infrequent posts that are well worth the wait.
8. Easkey Britton @Easkeysurf
Who she is: Easkey Britton, Irish pro surfer, explorer, and scientist.
What she does: Ireland’s first big-wave surfer is also the first woman to surf in Iran (complete with a head-covering hijab) and the first Ireland native to surf the infamous wave Teahupo’o, when she was just 16 years old. She founded Waves of Freedom as a way to use surfing for positive social and environmental change.
What to expect when you follow: Soulful surfing, hazy sunsets, acrobatics, and some yoga for good measure.
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