All surfer are chasing bigger and better waves. The chase for the perfect wave has been a theme of surf films since Bruce Brown first brought surfing to the masses in his film titles ” The Endless Summer”, a title that appealed to young and old alike.
The problem is that if you want big waves you need storms and with storms come rain. Now this wouldn’t and isn’t a problem in the few uninhabited places we have around the world. Around larger cities on the other hand, the rain, often after a lack thereof, slowly dilutes the chemicals that have been caked on the pavement and flushes out storm drains that haven’t been cleaned out since last winter’s rain. The result is a soup of bacteria and chemicals; after passing through a couple of standard-avoiding filtering stations, the nasty slush flows straight into the ocean. Shortly after the first heavy rain, warning signs begin popping up on local beaches as the bacteria levels shoot past safety limits. A good example of this is the recent studies on Catalina Island where a lack of cleaning facilities and trash disposal options taint the clear waters that many spend time in for snorkeling, diving and fishing. As a surfer who used to live in Huntington Beach i was used to the fact that i couldn’t surf after a heavy rain, but sometimes, i just couldn’t pass up the opportunity for some great waves. Like clockwork that same afternoon my nose would begin to get stuffy and i would usually be out for a day or two after. The waves may have been worth the short delay of life but not everyone is willing to sacrifice a couple days of being sick for a swim.
We need to do something about this, starting with how we behave ourselves at home and in public. Just the basics. Green habits like recycling, using non-chemical cleaners and just plain old picking up behind yourself should be programmed into our minds as automatic responses to those type situations we encounter day in, and day out. Watering your lawn every day to keep it that perfect shade of green you want rather than even thinking about converting part of your garden to include drought resistant landscaping, should be discouraged more firmly by creating stricter laws for individuals and especially larger corporations. If we can’t do a few simple things to save the biggest source of oxygen and food that we have, then maybe we don’t deserve to enjoy it for all it has to offer either.