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So you’ve heard that surfing after a rain in Southern California is a bad idea, but you’ve never quite understood why. Look no further than the video above.

Last week, the Southland got its first real showers in several months, flushing all sorts of plastic, styrofoam, and other garbage through the region’s waterways – and we all know where these waterways terminate.

This one-minute clip comes to us from Ben Judkins and Taylor Lane – the pair who famously created a surfboard made of cigarette butts to raise awareness about pollution. Since that project, the self-proclaimed Ciggy Board Boyz have sought to unmask the problems of our throwaway culture and its impact on the oceans. After the recent rain in SoCal, Ben and Taylor documented trash flowing through L.A.’s Ballona Creek, which flows into a wetlands preserve. The footage is startling. Here’s what the guys had to say:

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“The first rain after long, hot summer months often fills waterways with discarded everyday items, forgotten but never gone; all our waste, garbage, trash, plastic, Styrofoam, pollution, runoff, shit etc. on land inevitably makes the journey through rivers, creeks, and streams all the way to the sea; land and water are inextricably interconnected.

“Landlocked or coastal, we all rely on the sea for the air we breathe, and in turn we all affect the sea with our consumption and waste habits; this was shot in one hour on one small segment of one creek from one bigger river in one big city on one tiny spec of the Earth; our collective actions really do add up….As much as you can, refuse to use single-use plastics; and as surfers, we have an indisputable obligation and opportunity to fight for the ocean…”

 

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