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The first wave ever lost due to nuclear meltdown

June 01 2011 | Coastal development, Waves, Water Quality, Surfing,

The recent events in Japan had many in the Surfrider network talking.

Of course we were talking about how the horrific events impacted the people of Japan (especially those in Nahara where the Fukushima plant is/was located). We were also talking about how this is really a coastal infrastructure story. Putting important... anything... on our coastlines is a bad idea because coastlines are dynamic zones that change over the years. We were also talking about how this may be the first time a wave has been lost due to a nuclear meltdown.

In the scheme of things (tainted water supplies, unsure path forward related to Japan's energy mix, etc) the idea of a lost wave seems to pale in comparison... unless you are a surfer.

To put a bit of perspective on this issue, local Japanese surfers have been dealing with related issues (toxic radioactive materials dumped in zones where people recreate) for years.

Before the recent meltdown Surfrider Japan had been fighting for years against toxic (radioactive nuclear waste) dumping into the ocean. Two years ago they Surfrider Japan and other groups delivered over 800,000 names on a petition. For more history on that fight here is a video overview and here is the Google search for related items.

I'm glad that Surfer's Path thinks enough of this issue to put it on their cover.

This isn't an abstract issue to Japanese surfers and it shouldn't be abstract to any of us.

The wave at Iwasawa Beach on the cover is no longer surfable.

There is no telling when it will be safe again as nuclear waste doesn't exactly have a short half life.

There IS a lesson here and that lesson has been around so long that it's quoted in the Bible... the foolish man built his house upon the sand. Let's stop our foolishness and learn from the Fukushima catastrophe that we shouldn't build on the coast.

Support the great work being done by Surfrider Japan here (100% of all donations go to Japan).

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