Everyone should have access to clean water to surf, swim and play in. The Surfrider Foundation is taking a multi-tiered approach to tackle ocean pollution problems. We are testing the waters for bacteria and toxins, raising public awareness and finding real solutions to ocean pollution; solutions that restore healthy watersheds, protect local water supplies and keep pollution from reaching the ocean.
Visit the Blue Water Task Force page
Visit the Ocean Friendly Gardens page What is the problem? The urbanization of our coasts has altered and polluted the natural water cycle. In undeveloped, natural areas, rainfall is absorbed by soil and plants, percolates through the soil to underground aquifers or flows into local streams. Rooftops, pavement and other impervious surfaces in urban and residential areas prevent rain from soaking into the ground and instead direct polluted runoff straight towards the ocean. At the same time, we are wasting valuable freshwater by using it once, mixing it with our waste, and then discharging it, partially treated, into the ocean. This is threatening the long-term security of our water supply and polluting our coastal waters. Learn more by watching the Cycle of Insanity film. What are the solutions? Our efforts to protect local water supplies, manage waste and prevent pollution are all connected. Surfrider advocates for practical and environmentally sound solutions that can restore the water cycle and natural functions of coastal ecosystems to protect local water supplies and prevent pollution from reaching the ocean. This holistic, watershed-based approach also helps support resilient and healthy coastal communities and economies. A watershed is a geographic area in which all sources of water, including rainfall, snow melt, streams, rivers, lakes, wetlands, and ground water, all drain to a common surface water body, generally the ocean in coastal areas. Ecosystem Services Provided by Healthy, Naturally Functioning Watersheds
- Hold rain and absorb water into the ground for flood control
- Soil & plants filter out pollutants from water
- Water percolates through the soil to re-charge ground water and maintain stream flows
- Transport of sand to the beach by natural rivers & streams
- Provide wildlife habitat
- Carbon sequestration by plants & soil
- Stormwater & Urban Runoff
- #1 Source of Beach Closures & Advisories
- Point (end-of-the-pipe) discharges
- Factories, Power Plants, Desalination Plants
- Pets & Wildlife
- Host a Rain Barrel Building Workshop
- Pursue a “Sweep Don’t Hose” Ordinance
- Hold a Street Stewardship Event: Stormdrain Marking and Bioswale Maintenance
- Host a Cycle of Insanity event. Film guide to help you lead a discussion with the audience.
- Host a screening of the movie Watershed and have a discussion afterwards. (This film is Southwest centric, but covers many issues that are relevant across the country.)
- Find a Water Footprint Calculator you like and host a competition within your City to encourage water conservation.