The Blog Aquatic » waves News, opinions, photos and facts from Ocean Conservancy Thu, 28 Aug 2014 17:32:30 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Surfing Safari No More: Trash Has Arrived in Paradise Tue, 13 Aug 2013 18:00:48 +0000 Nick Mallos surfer

Photo: Colm Walsh via Flickr

Trash travels. It’s a phrase that’s been uttered hundreds, maybe thousands of times to convey the pervasiveness of trash and plastics in our global ocean.

But now trash has infiltrated the lineup—that congregation of surfers floating just beyond the furthest break, each one jockeying to get the jump on the next wave. For me, the lineup has always been a place of simultaneous solitude, camaraderie and exhilaration. It is a firewall between tranquility and unrivaled adrenaline.

Indonesia—better known as “Indo” in the surfing world—is a mecca for surfers seeking some of the world’s most secluded yet infamous breaks. It’s an idyllic place. Placid turquoise seas erupt into mountains of water that break with tremendous power onto razor-sharp reefs just inches below the surface.

Surfers who triumphantly survive barreling tubes in this part of the world are almost surreal and have often earned the brave rider “Wave of the Year” honors.

During a recent trip to Bali, though, surfer and photographer, Zak Noyle, captured images of a new kind of barrel—one that may become as infamous as the waves themselves: waves of trash.

It could be said that the waves were perfect on a recent morning at a remote location in Java, in southern Indonesia.

Perfect, except for the appalling amount of trash and other debris, which transformed the typically amazing experience of getting barreled into one that left both surfer and photographer feeling nauseated.

What can we do to keep our breaks a little cleaner and prevent these waves of trash from crashing on our shores?

For starters, I’ll be paddling out on Sept. 21 to participate in the International Coastal Cleanup, and I hope you’ll join me at your local break or on a beach or waterway near you.

We can also make small changes in our everyday lives that help reduce our trash impact. Download Ocean Conservancy’s free mobile application, Rippl, to help you make simple, sustainable lifestyle choices.

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Beach Tips for Dog Lovers: Keep Your Pooch (and Wildlife) Safe Tue, 05 Jun 2012 17:20:05 +0000 Catherine Fox

Beach time is play time! Credit: Lucian W. Fox

When the dog days of summer blast in, there’s nothing like a romp at the beach with your canine friend to beat the heat. My golden retrievers love a beach on the Delaware shore where they are welcome after 5 p.m. for a frolic in the surf. And over the years, I’ve learned a few things that make a good evening great.

Planning ahead makes for the best beach trip possible, so before you head out, find a beach where dogs are allowed and check out the rules on leashing. When outside for longer periods of time, your pup needs the same things you do, including plenty of fresh water and protection from the sun. And remember: The urge to run and swim will be irresistible; if your dog isn’t used to a lot of activity, take it easy to avoid pulled muscles or exhaustion.

And ocean-lovers will want to consider these tips:

  • It’s great to see your dog frolicking on the beach, but be sure she’s not tearing into wildlife habitat or destroying the roots of grasses that hold dunes in place.
  • Scoop droppings and discourage your pup from pooping in the water where you can’t clean up – better yet, get her to do her duty before heading to the beach.
  • Play chase with balls and beach toys so you dog is less likely to go after sea birds feeding or nesting on the ground; stress can kill. Know your beach; endangered species like the piping plover are protected by law. (And don’t leave your ball on the beach. Bring it home with you.)
  • Toss floating toys to ensure they don’t go wayward in the waves; playthings that sink wind up as ocean trash.
  • Carry a leash; leashing could be the law, and may come in handy if wildlife shows up unexpectedly.
  • Leave only paw-prints; if Rover tears up a toy, carefully dispose of the pieces so they don’t become confetti trash in the ocean where marine life like sea turtles and fish mistake it for food.

Fellow ocean-going dog-lovers, please add your beach-going dog tips in the comments section below!

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