I was really impressed by the efforts they took to make their conference as eco-friendly as possible. They offered real mugs, real flatware, cloth napkins, and they had composting stations set up!
If you didn't know, we offer a whole line of Save the Waves engraved phone cases and $5 of each sale is donated to Save the Waves who are working to protect our coastlines.
The conference brought together surfers, scientists, community activists, and general ocean lovers all for the purpose of conserving our seas. It was amazing to see so many different types of people joined under one uniting cause.
I had never thought about how climate change impacts tourism and sporting. Without clean oceans, surfers can't surf.
A trashed ocean affects us all, and so many companies, individuals, and organizations are working to change the tides. Even in the wake of these environmental disasters, the energy in the room was so positive.
Below are a few of the issues talked about at the conference. I'll be speaking more in depth about several of the topics in new blog posts. This conference was truly amazing, I definitely recommend going next year or looking to support your local Save the Waves or Surfrider organizations.
1. Water Quality:
Industrial waste, sewage, toxic run-off, pesticides, and fertilizers all have negative effects on the health of surfers and marine life. Protecting water quality and watersheds is an important part of healing the ocean.
2. Climate Change and Sea Level Rise:
Climate change and sea level rise has increased coastal erosion. Coastal erosion is normal, but the sea level rise has exacerbated the problem. Coastal erosion is also caused by removing grasses and sand dunes to make way for developments.
Grass and dunes are natural breaks for the water. When they're gone, the waves can come up higher and wash away the sand at a faster pace.
3. Trash and Marine Debris:
This subject is very near and dear to Pela's heart. Jeremy, the founder of Pela, got the idea for a sustainable, plastic-free future, after a family vacation to Hawaii. Jeremy's son was digging through the sand, and there were small bits of plastic everywhere! Jeremy wanted to find away to change that.
Some of the biggest ocean debris are discarded fishing nets and plastic bags. These entangle marine life, smother coral, and entrap surfers.
Eight million tons of plastic wash out to the ocean each year. It creates a toxic environment for people and animals alike. If you're looking for 10 Ways to Reduce Your Plastic Consumption, check out our blog post.
4. Coral Reef Impact:
Corals are destroyed by destructive fishing practices, ocean acidification, plastic, and harmful run off. Coral reefs are critical to ocean health. They buffer the shore lines from waves, storms, and floods, and they provide important habitats. Healthy coral reefs are vital for a healthy ocean.
Coast lines should be available to all. Many places around the world sell their coast line off to be developed or privatized cutting off access to locals. Everyone should be able to enjoy their coastlines and waves.