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With Earth Day around the corner it is important to teach new surfers WHY it is important to protect our oceans. Beginners may just want to rush out and catch some waves, but to be a true surfer, you must understand that without clean oceans there we would not be able to swim or surf in them. So I would recommend including this short lecture either before entering the ocean or while resting in between surf lessons.
“These are the most important things to remember about a surfer’s connection to the environment. First is that 70% of our planet is covered by our oceans, yet we have explored only 4% of it. The oceans regulate the temperature of the Earth and the plankton that live in it hold as much carbon dioxide as the world’s rainforests. We need to protect it so we can keep doing what we love to do.
First we need to stop using single use plastics. Plastic bags choke the ocean’s wildlife and when they break down can even enter our food supply. Carry some reusable cups, utensils and straws in your beach bag. Don’t count on recycling since many places just take it to the dump. And looks for ways to re-use a bag or bottle rather than throwing it away.
Second we need to get involved to protect our water quality. Too much development can lead to dangerous levels of bacteria in the water. As kids, you can join a beach up to keep litter from entering the water. And as adults, you can join a non-profit that works to stop polluters and stay active in local issues affect the shoreline. And most importantly, vote for leaders who protect the environment.“
It is up to us as surfers to teach others about the importance of protecting our oceans, waves, and beaches. Not just with words, but with our actions. Remember this not just for Earth Day, but everyday.