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Posted by Rick Civelli | 11.29.2010 | WB Surf Camp News

Human Impact: Plastics in Our Oceans

Between destroying and protecting, humans play a significant role in shaping our “once pristine” environment. Though decades of abuse proceed us, humans are equally able to protect and nurture our resources. The current rate of consumption our world operates on is bringing the environment and its inhabitants closer to extinction. Cause and effect is overlooked often times, as people fail to realize just how interconnected our ecosystem is. These problems stem from multiple factors and sources.

These days our focus lies on a modern day monster that is plaguing our entire landscape, clogging our oceans, polluting our watershed, and killing species worldwide.

PLASTIC- The majority of products purchased worldwide come with an unavoidable plastic wrapper. Plastic serves as one of the leading materials in worldwide consumption, as larger amounts are produced and consumed each year. Unfortunately, the Earth’s oceans have been treated like a giant toilet bowl over past decades due to irresponsible dumping and improper disposal of waste. Plastic materials pollute our oceans and kill marine life in various ways. Prior to entering the sea, they litter our watershed, and the simple manufacturing waste of plastics is proven to cause disease and birth defects among humans.

Many people in today’s society are naive to the plastics accumulating within the gyres in our oceans. Gyres are large systems of rotating ocean currents predominately caused by wind patterns. These “garbage patches” are composed of broken down plastics along with a multitude of other debris.  Unlike most debris, which biodegrades, plastic only photo degrades into smaller and smaller pieces, never breaking down completely. Fragments of broken down plastics occupy the upper water column in high concentrations, then soak up toxins like a sponge.  As a result, marine organisms ingest these plastics, becoming contaminated with the associated toxins, which bio-accumulates, and then threatens the entire food chain.

We are part of that food chain! Will we experience the day where seafood is a thing of the past? Will plastics alter our water quality to the point where we can no longer enjoy surfing?

Not if we spread the word and ACT NOW!

We’re running out of landfill space and our growing population is faced with the responsibility to reduce, reuse and recycle. If awareness of these issues is spread, we can make small steps in the direction of restoring our oceans and the environment.

Below are 5 simple steps you can take towards saving our oceans and our planet:

•    REDUCE! Use less. Avoid bottled water: Use filters
•    REUSE! Reusable travel mugs, water bottles and shopping bags cut down on waste. Check out WB Surf Camp reusable totes here: Surf Shop
•    Buy local and/or in bulk, when possible, to reduce packaging waste.
•    RECYCLE! Do it yourself if you don’t have a local service.
•    Pick it up. Leaving trash laying on the beach or ground is just as bad as dropping it there.