Coastlines around the world are being lost to erosion as sea level rises, storms become more powerful and man demands shoreline structures. While coastline erosion probably isn’t something that crosses your mind that often, one man has built a foundation, spoken in front of the United Nations six times and even designed a clothing line, in a bid to recover the world’s beaches and ultimately, heal the earth. His name is Gregory Sarno and for the last ten years, he’s been opening the world’s eyes to beach erosion through his foundation: The Beach Recovery Foundation. Here with us today is Gregory Sarno himself, talking to us about The Beach Recovery Foundation, designing t-shirts, Leonardo DiCaprio and making documentaries.
What is the mission of Beach Recovery?
Our mission is very simple; to recover beaches. We want to raise awareness around the world as to why beaches erode and to establish research sites so that we can implement the existing technology, accretion engineering, to fix the beaches and heal the earth that we all live on.
Why did you decide to launch a clothing line to bring awareness to this call to action?
When I had my pop up store, Beach Recovery Cafe, everyone loved the t-shirts we were selling. So I figured I could use money from product sales to engage research to heal the earth that we live on. T-shirts are a great way to communicate and get people involved on the organic level. Unfortunately, this is such a complicated business that it would take years for me to explain to the layman exactly what we do. So I figured I would use the low-hanging fruit of t-shirts. I figured that if I could get people to stop wearing some brand that does nothing for the environment and wear our t-shirts, then I could fulfill my life mission to heal the earth that we all live on as one.
Most wealth creation is made through having real estate or some form of a product, so I decided that I could engage all these people who wanted to help. Then we could take the money from the product sales to implement the technology to recover coastlines around the world. People were always asking how they could help our cause. People like our logo and what we stand for. And we noticed people felt proud to wear the t-shirts. Al Gore and Leonardo DiCaprio talk about the problem, but we’re ABOUT the problem. One day I would love to get Leonardo to wear a t-shirt. I just want people to get behind our cause so I can fix the problem and heal the earth that we live on.
What were your inspirations for the designs you created for The Beach Recovery?
I hired a fashion designer to do the designs. I have not implemented my own designs because of all the work I’ve been doing.
What kinds of experiences have you had traveling the world as a real estate developer turned environmentalist?
Very interesting experiences. Mostly when you talk to people about real estate, they want to focus on the profits. It’s shocking to me that real estate developers and people who own coastal properties don’t see the value. They allow the government to take care of the properties. I figured that I could use my gifts as a developer to more effectively heal the earth.
What project is The Beach Recovery Foundation currently working on now?
We are selling t-shirts to raise funds to recover Hellshire Beach, Jamaica. This is all about bringing awareness, and t-shirts are a great way to do this. It’s an outlet to have immediate tangible results for the cause so we can do our research to affect change.
What are your plans for the Future?
My plans for the future are to focus on making a documentary about Malibu.
And winding this up to show America that there are solutions. When you cut harbors, you destroy environments. This film will hopefully educate the public and let them know that cutting coastline harbors and building inlets affects the near shores. And that we are robbing our public parks. I want to tell the world that it’s not okay to do this. Just as it’s not okay to burn down a forest. Society needs to learn this. It’s just upsetting to learn that society doesn’t seem to give a shit.
If you’d like to support Greg Sarno’s efforts in saving the world’s beaches, check out his site and help spread the message by investing in a t-shirt!
Image Source: Beach Recovery Shop