Most plastic pollution at sea starts out on land as litter on beaches, streets and sidewalks. Rain or overwatering flushes that litter through a storm drain system or directly to creeks, streams and rivers that lead to the ocean. After plastics enter the marine environment they slowly photodegrade into smaller pieces that marine life can mistake for food, sometimes with fatal results. Ocean gyres concentrate plastic pollution in five main areas of the world’s ocean and various research groups are bringing back alarming data documenting plastics impacts.
In an effort to provide education outreach to our local community, Surfrider Miami provides free presentations at local K-12 schools, as well as community festivals and events. Presentations focus on our ultimate dependence and interconnectedness with water, a surfer’s view of the water cycle, why it is important to protect and conserve our natural resources, and how everyone can make a difference.
The Blue Water Task Force (BWTF) is the Surfrider Foundation’s volunteer-run, water testing, education and advocacy program. The Miami chapter partners with Biscayne bay water keeper (BBWK) to test and manage water quality at local beaches, thebbiscayne bay and inner coastal areas. The BWTF has demonstrated success by identifying problems with beach and coastal water pollution, raising public awareness of these incidents and working collaboratively with local stakeholders to find and implement pollution solutions.
As part of our mission to protect our coastlines, Surfrider Miami is playing an active role in restoring a critical and very fragile habitat in South Florida – our coastal dunes. This area, which connects our beaches to the rest of the mainland, plays an integral role in protecting our coastlines from beach erosion, serving as a buffer against hurricane activity, and providing a habitat for several native plant and animal species.