Kailua, Oahu, Hawaii

This morning I went for a swim in the ocean – I am finding that the sting of the saltwater helps clear my blocked sinuses, at least temporarily. As I luxuriated in the clear blue waters washing up on a white sandy beach, I thought about the evil oily blight currently afflicting the San Francisco Bay.

I first became aware of it last Friday when my friend Paul Nordquist from the South End Rowing Club (located by Fisherman’s Wharf in downtown SF) wrote to say they can’t row on the Bay at the moment because of an oil spill.

Then this morning David Helvarg, president of the Blue Frontier Campaign, emailed me a link tothis article he wrote for the Los Angeles Times.

As he says at the end of his article – we all need to do something. The question is: what? A good place to start is with David’s upbeat book, 50 Ways to Save the Ocean.

I am looking at how I can do more. I want to move from my row’s stated goal of ‘raising awareness’ of the ocean crisis to doing something tangible and measurable (back to the SMART criteria again). Securing corporate sponsorship for a beach clean-up in Hawaii maybe? Even the beaches on uninhabited islands here are sometimes afflicted by piles of trash. Or possibly figuring out a way to get the message to the coastal communities of Mexico and South America, for whom leaving rubbish on the beach and waiting for the next storm to whisk it away is a widely practiced method of waste disposal.

In the meantime, another good way to help save the oceans is to donate to the Blue Frontier Campaign, which supports grassroots (aka ‘seaweed’) groups in their efforts.

A fine example was set by my friend Mariya, who I am staying with here in Hawaii. She had a birthday party on Sunday and asked her guests if, rather than buying presents (thereby contributing to consumerism and damaging the environment), they would make a donation to Blue Frontier Campaign (thereby helping the environment). A useful few dollars were raised, and a great time was had by all.

[photo: Kailua Beach]

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