Surfers are canaries in the coal mine regarding dirty water
This comic was shared earlier today at the Global Wave Conference 3 in Baja, Mexico. It nicely encapsulates a few of the presentations from the first day that talked about the effects of polluted water on waves.
Sometimes I have a hard time understanding why we're talking about the things we are. The comic above sets up this point... if an industrial accident happened near your home, would you expect to be made aware of it? Yes. Of course you would.
If 6,000,000 gallons of raw sewage was spilled onto a playground it would be big news.
When 6,000,000 gallons of raw sewage spill near our shores, sometimes we don't even hear about it.
Any unexpected accident that puts the public in harms way must be reported by authorities because we rely on our government to provide for the safety of its citizens.
Check out this Google search on sewage spill. The simple truth is that sewage spills happen all the time and we, citizens, rarely hear about those sewage spills. Even more challenging is that we, surfers, are usually IN the water before anyone is told anything.
It's not like there aren't solutions to this issue. Our friends at Surfers Against Sewage in England have worked with their government to create a "Sewage Alert Service" which is essentially a text that goes out to all interested parties.
If you care about this you can do a few things and they can all be summed up in one word, "engage."
You can connect with our Blue Water Task Force work in a local community, you can work with your local Surfrider chapter to ensure that local waters are clean and you can support our work with a donation (it costs about $7 for our volunteers to test water a single time).