Community members at Ceduna and Streaky Bay joined other coastal communities across South Australia on Saturday for the Paddle Out protest against Equinor's proposed oil exploration program in the Great Australian Bight.
The events provided communities with an avenue to express concerns about drilling in the region and also showcased the resistance organisers said Equinor had stated it would not push through.
It also gave people information about how to make a comment on Equinor's draft environment plan.
Ceduna's lunchtime event attracted about 200 people who travelled from as far as Scotdesco and Penong.
The diverse group paddled, swam and kayaked in the bay, while others lined up on the jetty with signs against oil exploration in the Bight.
They noted that there should instead be a prioritisation of greener and more forward-thinking industries to boost the local economy and contribute to the long-term viability of the region.
About 300 people attended the Streaky Bay event earlier in the morning, where the group formed a large circle on water craft within and beyond the swimming enclosure.
Other events occurred at Port Lincoln, Kangaroo Island and around Adelaide.
Penong's Trina Spitzkowsky said community members should feel they can express their views.
"The Great Australian Bight is of huge local, national and global significance," she said.
"Community events have helped bridge the information gap for many who felt disappointed by information sessions run by Equinor."
Ceduna's Susan Thiselton said the number of people turning up to events across the state showed people want to be heard on the issue of caring for the ocean and progressing to renewable energy.
"People want to have mature, respectful debates within regional communities to bring about the best future for our next generation," she said.
"Name calling or labelling people as hypocrites for living in a society dependent on oil won't help us find solutions.
"We encourage representatives from all levels of government to not only take note of community concerns on Equinor's current proposal but the broader issues as well."
Heath Joske said the Streaky Bay event allowed the group to promote its message.
"It was a great turnout, we had people from all walks of life in the community, from business owners to young families, and people made banners, painted surfboards and paddle boards," he said.
"It got our message across and made it clear how we feel about drilling in the Bight - we hope it carries across to our council, the rest of the country, and to Equinor."