How Our Actions Are Affecting Our Oceans
With sapphire blue oceans, golden brown sand and a backdrop full of redwood wrapped mountains, Santa Cruz is a region encapsulated with pristine beauty. However, to keep Santa Cruz prolific demands responsibility, and if alcohol is involved, responsibility is sometimes forgotten. The Saturday of Memorial Day weekend was spent picking up garbage left on our beaches. Sunday we documented it. As ocean lovers and founders of a craft brewery inspired by the ocean, we feel obligated to educate the community when we see beaches littered with the remnants of beer. The first step to fixing any problem is recognizing that there is a problem.
According to the California Coastal Commission, 80% of the garbage found in our oceans is linked to land-based sources (litter from pedestrians, motorists, and beach visitors are a few examples). Panther Beach was one of several Santa Cruz state beaches plagued with waste from Memorial Day weekend; an estimated 600+ pounds of garbage was gathered (e.g. nails, needles, assorted plastics, red cups, aluminum cans and glass bottles). Natural Bridges State Beach received a similar thrashing, but the most frightening revelation was the amount of nails and screws extracted from all of Santa Cruz State Beaches; over 90+ pounds. Garbage on our coasts is not just a Santa Cruz problem; it's a world issue. The California Coastal Commission states,
"Marine debris is a global pollution problem that impacts human health and safety, endangers wildlife and aquatic habitats, and costs local and national economies millions in wasted resources and lost revenues."
The trash left on our beaches will eventually reach the water which will ultimately reach the wildlife. Whether you're a sea turtle mistaking a plastic bag as a jellyfish, a seabird entangled in a six pack ring, or a blue whale ingesting garbage alongside krill, most sea animals cannot distinguish the good from the bad. Ocean debris has become so prominent, that an island twice the size of Texas, known as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, has formed in the Pacific.
We are not finger pointing and we don't believe to be self-righteous; instead, we are attempting to raise awareness by publicizing our discoveries. Most of the garbage collected was associated with beer drinking; therefore, as beer makers, we feel a moral responsibility to help solve the problem. As the summer ensues and beaches become more desirable, please do your part and lead by example. Please, pick up your trash.
Unsure where to start? Click to link for a helpful list provided by California's Coastal Commission.