Category Archives: Green

Sobering news: we’ve just read that the world’s oceans are becoming acidic at an “unprecedented rate.” Sadly, the addition of so much carbon has altered the chemistry of the waters, which would affect many discovered, and yet to be discovered, surf breaks around the world.

[caption id="attachment_3879" align="alignleft" width="590" caption="Source: BBC"][/caption]

In their strongest statement yet on this issue, scientists are worried, saying acidification could increase by 170% by 2100, and that some 30% of ocean species, including corals, are unlikely to survive in these conditions. The more acidic oceans become, the more damaging they are to the shells and skeletons of marine organisms.

The researchers conclude that human emissions of CO2 are clearly to blame, as we consume fossil fuels to feed our appetites for energy-intensive lifestyles. There’s “very high confidence” that increasing acidification is caused by human activities, which are adding 24 million tonnes of CO2 to oceans every day.

Due to human activities, the atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide has been rising extensively since the Industrial Revolution and has now reached dangerous levels not seen in the last 3 million years.

Currently, the Arctic and Antarctic oceans are feeling the effects of acidity the most. These chilly waters hold more CO2 and increasing levels of the gas are turning them acidic more rapidly than the rest of the world.

So, what can we do?

Marine protection zones will give some short term benefit, but scientists say that in the long term, only significant cuts in emissions will slow the progress of acidification.

87 percent of all human-produced carbon dioxide emissions come from the burning of fossil fuels like coal, natural gas and oil. The remainder results from the clearing of forests and other land use changes (9%), as well as some industrial processes such as cement manufacturing (4%).

What do you think… let’s limit their use, no? Food for thought.
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Everyday, we try to waste a little less and love the Earth a little more, but coming this Monday, April 22nd is Earth Day, the perfect chance to really give it your all.

Just a little history on Earth Day, which is now a billion-people plus, globally celebrated holiday that is sometimes extended into Earth Week, a full seven days of events focused on green awareness:

  • It was the brainchild of Senator Gaylord Nelson and inspired by the antiwar protests of the late 1960s. Nelson hoped to raise public awareness of air and water pollution.
  • By the early 1960s, Americans were becoming aware of the effects of pollution on the environment.
  • It began as a “national teach-in on the environment” and was held on April 22 to maximize the number of students that could be reached on university campuses.

Since Earth Day is a day for action, it’s the perfect chance to show how important the environment is to you. We noted these ideas last year, but it’s good to revisit them again in case you’re stumped what you can do to participate:

Bring your own reusable shopping bags to the store. There’s no need for a proliferation of plastic and paper bags, which are so bad for our environment.

Pledge to use paper carefully and encourage others to do so, too. Opt to go paperless wherever possible.

Encourage healthier eating habits. Try to eat a sustainable healthy plantarian, pure vegetarian, vegan diet. Support your local farmer’s markets for fresh local produce. They usually grow organic vegetables which are better for our environment and your body as they don’t use harmful pesticides or fertilizers. Or better yet, grow your own garden and make sure not to use any pesticides or harmful fertilizers.

Conserve water. Take shorter showers. Try to limit showers to 10 minutes or less. Also, switch off the tap while brushing your teeth.

Conserve electricity. Turn off the lights if you don’t need them, and never leave your laptop ON when not using it. Use ceiling fans in the summer and winter months for climate control. Replace older light bulbs with energy-efficient CFL or LED bulbs.

Raise awareness about Earth Day. Continue to educate yourself and others on how to save our resources and act green. A good resource is the Earth Day site: www.earthday.org.

Walk or bike instead of driving places if you can. It will help reduce our dependence on oil.

Lower Use of Bottled Water/Beverages. Although it may be convenient, purchasing bottled water should be avoided if possible. Try filling reusable containers with tap water and leaving them in your fridge as an alternative.

Plant a tree. Besides producing oxygen and removing carbon dioxide and contaminants from the air, trees provide other numerous social, economic, and environmental benefits.

Finally, we’re celebrating Earth Day here at Becker Surf with some cool merch and an even cooler deal: Buy a Billabong Recycler Series Board Short and get $10 off your next purchase of $50 or more. Offer is valid between April 19 – 22, 2013 in stores and online. For online purchases, the discount is automatically applied to your next order in your account. Click here to shop the Billabong Recycler Series Board Short.

What will you do to honor Earth Day? Continue reading

The 14-minute film, “Beach 87th St./Surfing After Sandy” which features the Rockaway surfing community after Hurricane Sandy, is well worth a watch. Debuting this month and filmed by snowboarding brothers Jesse and Lukas Huffman about 34 days after the storm, the film reminisces what it was like on October 29, 2012 from the vantage point of J. Scott Klossner, Keone Singlehurst and Beth Perkins, bungalow dwellers on Beach 87th Street.

As a reminder, the storm surge hit on October 29 affecting 24 states, including the entire eastern seaboard from Florida to Maine, and became the most devastating storm to hit New York and New Jersey since 1938. It was also the costliest storm to hit the region, with northeast surfing spots including Rockaway, being utterly destroyed – surf shops were flooded and blown away, boardwalks were ripped apart and the beaches were severely eroded.

The film starts off with painting the picture of last summer’s “them vs. us” vibe – the local, experienced surfers vs. novices from Williamsburg and other parts of Brooklyn, and the growing fight for waves. 7.1 million visited the beach last summer vs. an average of 3.4 million on prior years.

But after Superstorm Sandy, these once-dubbed “hipsters” became “helpsters.” After local Rockaway residents came to grips with all the loss they had experienced and realized they couldn’t rebuild alone and needed help, the newbie surfers who were once-stigmatized and blamed for robbing locals of waves in Rockaway showed up in droves to lend their hands. In the words of Beth Perkins, “[the surfing community] saved our butts.” They helped rip out soaked drywall, flooring, and helped distribute food and other necessities.

“We appreciate the help from Brooklynites, Manhattanites, and anyone else who came here,” said Keone Singlehurst, 42, a Rockaway surfer who lives with Perkins. “It has brought the surfing community together.”

Watch the short film to see gorgeous shots of the ocean, surfers, and beach lovers, as well as images of broken, damaged homes, and residents sifting through belongings that were destroyed by the hurricane. It will give you a warm fuzzy about what the surfing community is really about. “The surfer community is sort of like a family,” said Singlehurst.

For those looking to donate, our friends at Sector 9 are offering up a Hurricane Sandy Disaster Relief Tee in either black or white. It’s made of 100% organic cotton, and best of all 100% of the sales proceeds of each tee will be donated to the Waves for Water Hurricane Relief Initiative to support their disaster relief efforts in New York and New Jersey.

For more information, on the Waves to Water mission, go to http://www.wavesforwater.org/.

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Mark your calendars for this Saturday, which is designated as Underwater Parks Day.

Now in its 5th year, Underwater Parks Day is a coordinated event by aquaria and marine science centers throughout Southern California to celebrate Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) and educate the public about the statewide network of MPAs and the need for these special “Underwater Parks.”

The date was chosen because one of the best times to experience California’s ocean at its finest is during the first month of the year. In addition, California’s new network of over 100 underwater parks was completed just last December, and they have planned activities and celebrations throughout the California coast at state beaches, aquaria, and nature centers. It’s perfect for kids and adults to enjoy a day surrounded by sea life and learn more about the benefits of protecting California’s prime ocean habitats.

Some events you may spot include grey whales traveling south along the coast to lagoons in Baja, California where they will give birth to calves. Some preemies and their mothers are already showing up off the coast of Los Angeles and San Diego, a total plus for whale watchers.

Further north, male elephant seals are engaging in their spectacular, violent mating rituals, while females are giving birth to a new generation of pups. Exciting stuff!

So, come learn about MPAs and why they are important to help sustain, conserve, and protect marine life populations, habitats, and ecosystems. Speakers, presentations, kid-friendly activities, short films, and arts and craft projects will be available at most locations. Visitors will learn more about the Marine Life Protection Act and the process that aims to conserve and improve California coastal marine resources.

To find an event near you in Southern (San Diego to Santa Barbara), Central (Morro Bay to Santa Cruz) and Northern California (San Francisco to Arcata), go to www.caloceans.org. Continue reading

The first of the King Tide events for 2013 begin today, January 9th and run until this Friday, January 11th. So, grab your camera, head to the shoreline, and take some pictures!

The California King Tides initiative, sponsored by government and nonprofit groups, began 3 years ago and encourages camera-toting volunteers to photograph and document the highest seasonal tides (or king tides) as an illustration of what low-lying coastal areas could look like if predictions about the Earth’s climate come to pass.

The photographs submitted to the group will be used to help visualize the impact of rising waters on the California coast by creating a map that will catalog coastal areas that are currently affected by extreme water levels. A report containing a selection of the submissions will be available after the event.

Since our shores are constantly being altered by human and natural processes, the images can offer a living record of the changes to our coasts and shorelines and a glimpse of what our daily tides may look like in the future as a result of sea level rise.

“It’s definitely very high tides this year, and we just encourage people to use this opportunity to go out, take pictures and reflect what this means for our shoreline and the fact that’s its constantly changing even today, and how that might affect how we think about sea level rise in the future,” says coordinator Heidi Nuttles.

Photos taken during king tide events document impacts to private property, public infrastructure, and wildlife habitat across the state.

So, have fun and be safe! Take extra precautions when you walk on slippery areas or near big waves, and always be aware of your surroundings and the weather conditions. If you can’t shoot photos for this run, the next one will be February 7th-9th

For more information on how to share your photos, go to: http://www.californiakingtides.org/.
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