Bob Purvey is considered one of the first professional contest surfers in the sport and has hailed from Malibu since 1964 when he was asked to join the Malibu Surfing Association’s “Top Ten” competition team. His home surf spot is Malibu Surfrider Beach.
In 1992, he was asked to attend the Malibu Creek Watershed discussion group meeting. The goal of the organization is to clean up the polluted water in the Malibu Creek Watershed system with a comprehensive approach. He requested that the committee address the stream of creek waters from the upper watershed and the lagoon to the surf-zone. Previously the surf-zone was not included as part of the concerns by the committee.
He then discovered the knowledge gap was tremendous. So, he focused on educating the general public by means of producing educational documentaries about various concerns of water pollution and the efforts to clean it up. His first documentary, “Malibu Creek and Its Surrounding Watershed,” won three Falcon Cable awards for: Best Production, Best Communicator and Best Folk Song. He produced four more documentaries and a docudrama for the Surfrider Foundation, which focused on the drainage system in the lower watershed that had a direct impact on Surfrider’s surf zone.
He initiated the organization of the Malibu Lagoon Task Force in 1996, the Surfrider Foundation’s State of the “Malibu Creek Watershed Conference” in 1997 and also started the land-trust group that led to the organization of the Malibu Coastal Land Conservancy. The Malibu Coastal Land Conservancy led the way toward the acquisition by the city of the “Chili Cook-off” property for $25,000,000 and the construction of Legacy Park, which resides there today. The Malibu Coastal Land Conservancy made the largest contribution, $500,000, by a single entity.
In 2009, he and his co-editor, Martine Jozan, M.D. won the International Wildlife Film Festival Merit Award for “Editing” the documentary “In Search of the California Condor.”
He founded EcoMalibu in 2010. EcoMalibu is the organization that puts together all of his efforts, over the past two decades, to educate the general public about how to clean up the polluted water at his favorite home surf spot, Malibu Surfrider Beach.
Bob has won numerous awards in a variety of fields. Starting in 1964, as an amateur contest surfer, he climbed the ranks of the United States Surfing Association winning a number competitions. Most notably, in 1966, he won the Morey-Pope Professional Invitational “Noseriding” Championship and 13 years later Purvey won Church’s NoseRiding Championship.
He was the creator, event director and organizer of the 1986 Malibu Classic Challenge, the first event to include longboard and shortboard freestyle along with timed nose riding divisions.
Other than producing, Purvey has exercised his artistry as an actor, writer, director, cameraman, video editor and graphics designer.
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