The 2017 WSL Men's QS 1,500 South to South presents Itacaré Surf & Sound Festival wrapped up Sunday with Deivid Silva defeating Marco Fernandez in the Final. Support from the City of Itacaré and the World Surf League provided the four-day contest and music festival with vital environmental education courses, lectures and activities focused on sustainability given to 160 local school children from Itacaré, Bahia. The thematic focus was on the conservation of fragile ecosystems like those in Itacaré, which sits north Rio de Janeiro, on the country's east coast.
According to Rui Barbosa da Rocha, director of Instituto Floresta Viva, many organizations worked in collaboration at the Itacaré Surf & Sound Festival to provide an environmental impact and overall ecological and educational programming at the contest site. Some of the children living in more rural areas of Itacaré had never seen the ocean before. Courses given during the week covered subjects including recycling, local flora and fauna, renewable energy, areas of conservation and the behavior of humpback whales that are common in the region.
After the educational activities, the children were invited into the contest area to see behind-the-scenes action with the athletes and were given meals, snacks and juice provided by local organic farmers. These included local products such as cassava, cacao, tropical fruit, and homemade baked goods.
According to one of the professors who participated in the project, Leandro, from Escola Espaço Educar said, "I had the privilege of accompanying the students and it was a marvelous experience. It was a perfect 10! I'd like to congratulate everyone involved, we all had a great time and learned a lot. It was such a pleasure to see the kids actively participating during the workshops and with the athletes."
A huge recycling effort was also carried out by the Recicla Itacaré organization with support from the City of Itacaré. A group of volunteers separated organic material, plastics, metal and glass as well as providing the crowd at Praia da Tiririca with information regarding sustainability.
And as a final contribution to the local region, the students helped plant 10,000 local hardwood trees including Brazilian Rosewood, Inga, Jacaranda, Brazilian Peppertree, Genipap and others. The saplings were provided by Instituto Floresta Viva and Biofábrica and produced by native trees in the region. The city and local organizations are working together to transform a part of the Itacaré River Basin as a permanent environmental reserve.