The protection of the environment always had been an important cause to the surfing community. We are facing unstoppable global development and every corner of the planet is now impacted by different kinds of pollution and environmental threats.
Biodiversity is declining, the quality of the water and the atmosphere is altered more and more every day with the earth and soil increasingly polluted by human activities.
Everybody knows environmental damage is happening, including surfers. Each of us has a responsibility and a role to play in these problems, but most people don’t know how they can help.
What can we do?
The surfEXPLORE team has recently announced a new partnership with Adventurers and Scientists for Conservation (ASC) to provide valuable field data to support scientific research projects during their explorations to find and surf new waves.
ASC is a non-profit organization founded in January of 2011 by Gregg Treinish, Founder and Executive Director of ASC, to improve the accessibility of scientific knowledge by connecting outdoor enthusiasts and scientists. Their main objective is to mobilize adventurers to create an avenue for the science community to gather inexpensive, reliable and otherwise unattainable datasets from around the world.
ASC is a new resource to make a bridge between the people who are already going to difficult to reach areas and the professionals who can use the collected data for environmental research. The opportunity to learn about these areas on an unprecedented scale is now possible and perhaps to find new directions for environmental conservation.
The surfEXPLORE group has always had a strong focus on sustainability and is now entering a research program with ASC with a focus on micro-plastic pollution. It’s the first step in having a clear and tangible positive impact on new shores and new surfing areas.
Hundred of millions of tons of plastics are produced every year by humans and it is estimated that approximately 10% of all plastic debris ends up in the ocean.
“Microplastics” are the product of UV degradation of this massive amount of plastic debris. When the structures of the larger pieces are broken down, they become more available for ingestion by small organisms such as birds, fish and plankton–the basis of the food chain.
Distributed by ocean currents, microplastics persist either in the water column, in sediments on shorelines, to the deep ocean floor and are now found in alarming quantities in many marine habitats around the world.
If you eat fish and seafood, you may be consuming plastic as well.
Researchers have recently explored methods for the collection, categorization and quantification of microplastics.
Our team of surfers and explorers are going expand on this research by collecting ocean water samples from a variety of remote places following a strict methodology (including scientific data records). The Marine Environmental Research Institute is going to analyze the water samples for monitoring and surveying of microplastics.
We believe that it is only through true scientific understanding of the perils facing an area that management decisions can and should be made. In the wake of a rapidly expanding human population worldwide, it is imperative that the choices we make are based on relevant scientific information.
Surfers and scientists can do it.