Ocean Champions, Part One

These days, Sea Shepherd is getting a lot of press.  Whale Wars, a cable TV show, has turned Paul Watson into the oceanic Superman.  But while he’s basking in the limelight, there are many other champions of the oceans, people who have been working quietly outside of the limelight.  These heroes have gone largely unsung.  Protect The Ocean is pleased to bring some of them to your attention here.  If it’s well-received, other Parts will follow.

Topping off our list is Sylvia Earle, who was a recent recipient of a TED award.  You won’t want to miss this very moving and informative acceptance speech:

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How To Change Our World

By The People, that’s what this forum is, in part.  It’s a place where We The People address the issues, absent of the compromises many make when politics and advertising money comes into play.

What to do?  Our part doesn’t start or stop at informing our government.  That’s truly just the tip of the iceberg.  Consider every other significant improvement made in our society.  It begins in the private sector, and ends up supported by The People.  The government can impede that progress at times, make it difficult for solutions to rise to the top, while trying to protect us from ourselves.  It still comes down to what we will or will not tolerate.

How does that translate into something that changes the real world?  Vote with your wallet.  Start at Sea World and all of the other (disgusting) prisons for whales and dolphins.  If they weren’t making billions a year on Shamu’s suffering, there would be no capturing and enslaving them for profit. The thousands of them killed in pursuit of that profit would have been able to live out their natural lives free in the oceans of the world, instead of eating carrion in squalor while being driven insane. [Read more...]

Surfers At the Forefront

Surfers have been at the forefront, involved in protecting the beaches and oceans of the world far longer than any other group of citizens.  Organizations like Surfrider have been performing beach cleanups and lobbying for protective measures for decades.   Surfrider members perform regular cleanups of the shoreline, a largely messy and thankless job that they have to do because other visitors who enjoy the oceans and beaches refuse to clean up after themselves.

  Perhaps it takes a vested interest, close contact, to motivate people to do the right thing.  Similarly, it’s falconers who make up the vast majority of those involved in the recovery of the Peregrine Falcon and other birds of prey.  There may be some merit to having a vested interest, but most of the trash left on the beaches and other public natural places comes from people who likewise visit and enjoy these places.  So it seems that surfers (and falconers) must still be some pretty exceptional people to step up to the plate, giving their time, labor and money into clean water, beaches, wildlife, and the world’s eco-systems. 

Once again, surfers are taking the lead, this time in the form of a company called ReRip.com.  This effort, stared up by two surfer chicks from San Diego, is the Craigslist of board sports.   They provide classified ads to rehome surf, skate and snow boards, helping to ensure that the boards continue to be recycled, rather than ending up in a landfill.  Moreover, they’re providing surfboard blanks made of BioFoam.  The high performance Biofoam blanks are 50% plant based.  Their production results in 36% less global warming emissions and a 61% reduction in non-renewable energy use.  That’s a pretty sharp contrast to the traditional poly-resin board.  Bioboard blanks give surfers good cause to buy locally shaped Bofoam-core boards rather than a pop-out from China with its long string of toxicity that eventually leads to the air and ocean.

We’re pleased to tip a hat to surfers, on behalf of a grateful planet.