As a surfer you know how important a beautiful, clean, and healthy beach is for recreation, enjoyment, and our own health. The beach is a place where we enjoy the ocean frequently, but coastal ecosystems such as marshes and estuaries are often the most impacted by pollution and trash! World Oceans Day is an opportunity to think and learn about our impacts on the ocean and help clean up the coastal environments we love.
What can you do to help keep the ocean beautiful? Check out what other surfers and surf organizations around the world did to celebrate World Oceans Day last year and start planning your own event for this year.
Lead a beach cleanup:
Organize volunteers from your community to have a fun day at the beach while collecting trash and recyclable plastic polluting your favorite surfing site. Last year the Surfing Association of Nova Scotia (SANS) along with the Cow Bay community in Nova Scotia and San Francisco Surfrider both held community beach clean ups for World Oceans Day.
Get young surfers involved with an education day, crafts, and games. Vancouver Island Surfrider included beach games in their celebration to draw a younger audience. They had a beach barbecue and a scavenger hunt to encourage guest to explore the beach as well as paddleboard games and challenges.
Host a presentation led by surfers. Your presentation could be about tips on “How to be a green surfer”
- Keep your shores from getting over loaded with trash. Pick up any trash you see at your beach
before it has the chance to make it out into the water.
- Use an environmentally friendly wax without petrochemicals. There are a few companies making organic waxes out of ingredients like beeswax and soy. Learn more.
- Use a clean board! Conventional methods for making boards tend to have a negative impact on the environment, so riding one that is ecologically produced is a good for everyone. Learn more.
Surf for science:
Learn more about the science of how ocean health impacts surfers such as pollution in the ocean or changing weather patterns. Then educate others about the importance of keeping the ocean clean. For example Surfers Against Sewage, based in Cornwall UK, launched a study on World Oceans Day 2015 along with scientists from the University of Exeter Medical School. The study “will shed light on how surfers exposed to human sewage and diffuse pollution in seawater might be affected by antibiotic resistant bacteria.” Scientists and Surfers team up to assess antibiotic resistance risk: http://www.sas.org.uk/news/campaigns/scientists-and-surfers-team-up-to-assess-antibiotic-resistance-risk/
Learn who shares your waves:
From shore birds to seals to crabs, millions of creatures live in the productive coastal ocean. Learn about what creatures live in your local coastal ecosystems and
which are endangered or threatened species. Join a campaign to help one of these animals thrive!
Host a surf competition:
Engage youth and bring people out to enjoy the beach! Have a table at your event with information about keeping the beach clean and healthy. The Surf Academy, Collective of Women
Surfers based in California, hosted a competition between groups of young surfers “Ohana Nalu Water Day” on World Oceans Day 2014 to engage youth and bring people out to the beach.
Don’t forget to advertise your event idea on the World Ocean’s Day site!