There's no denying that we all need to pitch in and help protect our environment. But with so many threats facing our planet, deciding where to start can feel pretty overwhelming. In honor of Earth Day, we've picked three of our favorite campaigns that can have a major, positive effect on the health of our ocean.
Help Stop the Expansion of Offshore Drilling
One of the scariest threats facing our oceans right now is a potential increase in offshore drilling. The current administration is planning to expand offshore drilling, which would open up 90% of the outer continental shelf to new offshore drilling rigs and seismic blasting. While offshore drilling obviously puts our coasts at risk due to major oil spills, it also kills marine animals like dolphins and whales, threatens our food source (though killing fish larvae with seismic blasts), pollutes our ocean with toxins as a part of daily operations, and wreak havoc on coastal views, communities, and economies. Luckily, plans like these take work to approve. Currently, we're entering the 2nd public comment period where citizens can have their voices and concerns heard before a final decision is made at the end of 2019. Take action today by signing this petition from the Surfrider Foundation, and sign up for their action alerts so you can attend a public meeting in your area as they're scheduled in coming weeks.
Support Initiatives to Eliminate Single Use PlasticsAt wavehuggers, we're big of getting single use plastics out of our day to day lives! We bring our waterbottles, say no to plastic straws and lids when we're out and about, and have even made the swap to shampoo bars! Unfortunately, our world makes it very difficult to avoid single use plastics even when you care deeply and put in the effort. One thing we can do to make it easier to stop using single use plastics is to put pressure on the corporations that produce them to switch to better alternatives. Greenpeace recently launched a campaign to get Nestle to make a commitment to sustainability. You can sign their petition here or participate in their "Call in Day" campaign on Tuesday, April 16th, 2019. Campaigns like these have already worked with companies like Trader Joe's, and can have a huge impact preventing plastics well before they ever make it to the ocean.
Educate Yourself and Your Crew About Seafood SustainabilityIt's no surprising that commercial fishing has had one of the largest impacts on the health of our oceans. As the human population grows exponentially, so does our consumption of seafood. Unfortunately, fish are not the renewable resource we once thought they were. Destructive commercial fishing practices not only dangerously deplete populations, they also create a staggering amount of "bycatch". Over 20% of what's caught in the U.S. each year is thrown away before it even makes it to the market. Commercial fishing is also a huge contributor to ocean pollution. Abandoned fishing nets account for 46% of all ocean plastic and are a notorious killer of large marine animals who get tangled in them. Fortunately, there are tons of resources for those interested rethinking how they eat fish. Download the Seafood Watch App from the Monterey Bay Aquarium, or check out some good alternatives like the new vegan tuna sushi at Whole Foods.
Don't forget to reward yourself!
Protecting the ocean can be hard work, so make sure to treat yourself with a surf session! Surfing is a great way to recharge, make your heart feel hopeful, and remind you why the ocean is SO important to all of us. If you're ready to try it for the first time or want to improve your surf skills, check out our Earth Day Surf Special and take 10% off surf lessons, packages, and gift cards though April 30th.