Think Coastlines are Protected? Think Again.

There are plenty of advocacy groups and online petitions and beach cleanups, but are the coastlines actually designated safe spaces? Very few are, and the NRDC has created a video to highlight this often overlooked natural resource in their new, short-film Seventy-One Percent of Earth. Big Wave Surfers Grant "Twiggy" Baker, Brian Conley, Greg Long, Rusty Long, Frank Solomon and Anthony Tashnick all lent a hand to the video to talk about why we need to take action as "our ocean as we know them are in a silent state of collapse."The narrator explains that the ocean is suffering from depletion of fish populations, climate change and that some scientists even think that the ocean may soon become a mass of jellyfish and bacteria. The surfers get involved, talking about how they have personally noticed the oceans change over a few decades. Why surfers? This is one population that has spent probably more time in the water, and along coastlines, than just about anyone else on the planet. While not scientists, they each have personal anecdotes about what the ocean means to them, and how it is under attack. One surfer talks about his father's work at Save Our Seas, which is working with bringing ocean management back down to local communities in South Africa rather than allow bean counters to decide what is the proper level of protection.

Aside from educating you about the state of the oceans, you also get some pretty cool coverage of waves and even get to go on a ride-along with several of the surfers, feeling the rush of catching a wave and riding down the line.

So what do we do?

Create Marine Protected Areas - think national parks for oceans. Seems like a pretty basic idea, but there are few areas (less than 4% worldwide) that have actually received this designation. Those areas that are protected are already showing improvement with healthier and more populous species. Allowing the ocean an area of rest and respite, also allows them a chance to build strength and, in theory, get over a cold, to make a comeback.

The film is directed by Ari Marcopoulos and can easily be found online at Youtube at :Seventy-One Percent of Earth
More on Marine Protected Areas
World Challenge, by Newsweek, BBC News and...
11th International Coral Reef Symposium 2008, my experience
One-third of the World's Oceans Need a 20-Year Fishing Ban
6 Steps to Saving the World's Coral Reefs

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