5 Ways You Can Improve Ocean Water Quality

With the recent rains and the obscene amount of crud washing into Southern California’s oceans, ocean pollution has been on my mind a lot lately.  I know a lot of the problems are to do with factory farming, big business and so on, but people are to blame as well.  It got me thinking as to what we as individuals can do in our daily lives to help improve the quality of oceans water.  Here’s 5 that can be incorporated into the daily routine to help the ocean:

  1. Pick up trash before/after a surf session – This one is increadibly simple. Every time you head out for a surf session, make a point of collecting up a couple fist-fulls of garbage.  This is the last line of defense before all the plastic bottles and balloons get washed out to the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.  The ocean gods will honor you with great waves, I promise.
  2. Reduce/Eliminate plastic usage – Plastic has many wonderful uses, but convenience and materialism don’t fall into that category.  Don’t take plastic bags at the grocery store; bring your own bags instead, or use your hands.  Don’t buy plastic water bottles; buy one sturdy bottle at REI and refill it.  Take Surfrider’s plastic pledge.
  3. Buy local and organic groceries – First off, organic produce is usually way more delicious than its mass-produced counterpart.  But this tip is a double pronged attack.  First going organic tends to reduce the amount of pesticides, other -cides and fertilizer that are leached into the ground water.  Second, you reduce the amount of world shipping traffic greatly.  Imagine the difference between getting your bananas from Mexico by truck (no ocean traffic) versus having them shipped by tanker from South America.
  4. Sweep the patio; don’t hose it down – Everything you spray into the gutter heads for the ocean.  Sweep it up and put it in the trash.  (I’m not a big fan of adding to landfills either, but one step at a time.)
  5. Spread the word! – This one is important. If one dude goes to the beach and pick up trash, it helps.  If everyone dude took 5 minutes to pick up a bit of trash, our beaches would be pristine.

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