Wave-Riding Tragedy: For Many of Us, the Best Wave Days Have the Worst Water Pollution
February 29 2008 |
by Surfrider Foundation
It's a tragic fact that all-too-frequently the BEST, MOST ATTRACTIVE SURF is accompanied by HIGHLY POLLUTED COASTAL WATERS. How can that be?
Well, the same windy, over-the-ocean storms that generate the waves often reach our shores and dump substaintial rain in the coastal watershed, and that rain picks up not only polluted runoff from the surface of our land, but can also mix with sewage coming from spills and leaks in our inadequately maintained sewage system before flowing into our near shore waters. Who or what's to blame? For the most dangerous type of water pollution -- sewage -- we can blame our local, state, and federal governments for not investing enough money in sewage infrastructure. For polluted runoff, we can blame many, from developers to property owners to government on every level that approve development that paves over large portions of our coastal watersheds and for the most part refuse to take polluted runoff into proper consideration when designing systems for dealing with rainfall once it hits the ground.
Posted by Mark Babski, down the street from Surfrider Foundation headquarters in San Clemente, CA.