Pro Surfer/Concerned Father
Clean ocean water to surf in and enjoy in Nicaragua.

Clean water. A beautiful site to behold. And plenty worth protecting... Photo: Patrick Ruddy

The Inertia

I’ve always been concerned with the environment, but never has it been as much of a concern to me as it is now. Seeing firsthand this summer how quickly a fragile and beautiful area can be ruined while the people responsible show little sense of urgency before, during, and after the fact, has really got me thinking about the future. Not my future – I grew up with deer on the beach and fish in the surf, but my children’s and my grandchildren’s future. After seeing the drastic changes to not only my local beaches but also the entire world in just the blink of an eye, I feel strongly that putting the environment first is the only way to ensure that future generations are blessed with the same experiences we have had.

Keeping the water Clean

I’ve surfed in some of the most pristine waters on the planet. I’ve also surfed in some of the most pristine locations on the planet that have the filthiest water. Indonesia, Costa Rica, Japan, and Brazil have all shocked me at one time or another with their blatant disregard for keeping the ocean clean. All four countries have made improvements in the ways they dispose of trash and sewage during recent years after seeing the error in their ways.
Here in the U.S. we have our problems with runoff after large storms, but for the most part our waters are safe and clean. Maintaining a global standard of cleanliness to ensure future generations will have the same quality of water we’ve enjoyed should be at the forefront of worldwide policy.

Safety Precautions

As a result of the calamities that occurred in the Gulf this summer, the importance of tightening the control on potential environmental disasters became headline news.  With the recent explosion of yet another oil rig in the Gulf, we must not let this moment pass without proof that our government and the oil companies will take the necessary measures needed to ensure such a preventable tragedy never repeats itself.  For at this moment there is no way of knowing when, where, or how the next aging, ill-maintained, budget-cutting, poorly produced oilrig will fail.


The human population grows everyday, while marine and wildlife numbers dwindle away. The effects from loss of habitat and increased consumption due to a greater demand are taking a heavy toll already.  When you compound these effects with those of a tragedy the magnitude of the Deepwater Horizon, a fish as magnificent as the Bluefin Tuna could possibly face extinction.  This is not acceptable, if we are going to drill for oil in an areas like the Northern Gulf of Mexico, which is listed among the top five most biologically diverse marine areas on the planet, there should be no chance of ever repeating the mass destruction of marine life that we witnessed this summer. Large areas of the Gulf that used to be teeming with fish activity from top to bottom are now void of life. The water appears to be clean, but the oil has either sunk to the bottom or mixed with dispersants to create a toxic and unsustainable environment.

If you think we can continue on our present course and still maintain the environment we are blessed with today, you are very wrong. The numbers just don’t add up. Prepare yourself for change or be ready for a violent wake-up call. Either way, the world will be a much different place by the time my daughter will be raising a family of her own. “What can we do to help make that world as healthy as possible?” should be a question we ask ourselves daily. I’ve started asking myself this recently, and I have already noticed the new habits I am forming and what a positive effect they are having on my life and those around me.

Surfing in the Gulf Coast is a family affair. Shea Lopez teaches his daughter Lina to surf. Photo: Tupat

Surfing in the Gulf Coast is a family affair. Shea Lopez teaches his daughter Lina to surf. Photo: Tupat


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