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“It’s all of our ocean: one giant ocean around the world. You can call them many things, but they’re all one connected body of water. ” – Kelly Slater

In the deep, cold waters about a hundred miles off the coast of San Diego, a mountain of water rises from the depths. Crowned with a shock of foam like some ferocious sea monster, this Pacific avalanche surges up anywhere from sixty to a hundred feet high, drowning out the horizon and forcing you to surrender to a world of water. The lineup stretches over a mile and is littered with sharks and shipwrecks. Wonder why they call it the Apocalypse Swell?

If only that name didn’t seem so timely…

A steamship captain in 1853 glanced out his window and saw an impossible sight: a mammoth wave crashing in the middle of the ocean. His ship was called the SS Cortes, and thus the wave, and the place surrounding it was named Cortes Bank. In the right conditions it’s the biggest wave in the world, a truly awesome, overwhelming ocean peak that breaks against a seamount, and has become a kind of dark water pilgrimage for surfing’s most intrepid.

And that’s just above the surface.

Underwater is a vast wilderness; a mountain range that slipped below the waves long ago, creating what scientists believe is one of the largest meeting places for marine animals in the world. Cortes Bank is a sanctuary amidst our suffering ocean. But it’s not the least bit protected.

Bat Rays rush by and pods of elusive Northern Right Whale Dolphins immerse you in an ocean wonderland. With shadowy Kelp forests as dense as any rainforest and a psychedelic array of sea-life, Cortes Bank is a diver’s dream and the perfect symbol of a thriving ocean ecosystem that today is all too rare.

Places like this help you imagine what all of our seas used to look like, and what they still could be if we treated them with dignity and respect.

But recently Cortes Bank has been showing alarming signs of distress. Warming waters are killing off the region’s giant kelp, ancient forests that are crucial to a healthy ecosystem.

Imagine a world without trees. When the kelp dies out, the animals will have to move on.

But where will they go?

The kelp at Cortes Bank reflects an epidemic sweeping coast to coast.

Our ocean needs us.

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"More than 8 million tons of plastic are dumped in our ocean every year. Plastic is strangling animals & creating mountains of floating waste..."

Between acidification, overfishing, rapid temperature shifts, and a devastating amount of human pollution, our undersea ecosystems are drowning in the effects of humanity’s greed and indifference to the natural world.

We’re at a critical point. Scientists believe that by 2050 there could be more plastic in our waters than fish, our coral reefs could be bleached to ashes, and plants and animals could rapidly disappear.

The air that we breathe depends on the health of our ocean. Without marine plants, we lose over 50% of our oxygen. More than 8 million tons of plastic are dumped in our ocean every year. Plastic is strangling animals, creating mountains of floating waste, and getting into our seafood. And there are ‘dead zones’ all over the ocean where nitrification has already obliterated the oxygen.


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As humans that love and draw inspiration from the ocean, at Outerknown we’re taking a stand while there’s still time to change things. By partnering with Ocean Conservancy, the world’s leading nonprofit to clean, protect, and fight for our waters, we’re aligning with an organization that has the tools to enact positive ocean change.

Ocean Conservancy recognizes that pollution is changing the basic chemistry of our ocean. They’re aligned with the world’s leading scientists to develop solutions that safeguard our seas. With 45 years of results, Ocean Conservancy is lobbying governments around the world to protect our waters. They partner with fishermen to come up with viable solutions that strengthen coastal communities and fight for the survival of wildlife beneath the waves. In the 25 years of their annual International Coastal Clean-up, they’ve removed over 144,606,491 pounds of trash. If any organization has the power to turn the tides in the right direction, it’s Ocean Conservancy.

With your support we’ll raise a mighty swell of change, as powerful as the wave at Cortes Bank and revitalize our ocean for generations to come.

#ITSNOTOK is a battle cry for our planet. A powerful mantra to defend our environment. And a righteous call to protect our beautiful and fragile waters. By raising our voices, sharing this message, and supporting an organization like Ocean Conservancy, we hope to inspire a unified movement and make a profound difference for our waters and our world.

We want the world to hear us loud and clear: #ITSNOTOK

Raise your voice with us. Be part of the solution. Today we’re focused on our ocean’s health, but that’s just the beginning. We know there’s a lot of work to do and time is of the essence.

For us at Outerknown, #ITSNOTOK had to start in the ocean. The ocean is part of us. It’s where all life came from. Seven seas: one body of water. We are bonded with the waves and the wildlife that’s our legacy to protect.

Join us. #itsnotok