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Give & Take: You Can’t Dust the Ocean

Kearney Dewing   Follow

We clean. We clean our homes. We clean our patios. We clean our cars. We clean the places that make us happy and the places that make us feel safe, protected and recharged. Those feelings don’t just come from the places we own or rent, they often come from the places we don’t – the outdoors, public parks, walking trails, mountain tops.

For me, it’s always been the ocean. 

But who’s responsible for keeping these places clean? The short answer: each and every one of us. 

Here’s the good news: there are plenty of foundations and programs in place that make it easy to sign up to donate and volunteer. The bad news: they need help - and a lot of it. 

Having always been fortunate enough to live by the coast, I’ve grown up in schools that held beach clean-ups, litter-removal walks near marshes and roadways, and have been educated on marine life sustainability and animal protection (see my blog on saving the sea turtles, here. Albeit a story for another time). 

That said, when I moved to Charleston last year, I found myself in an unfamiliar place with unfamiliar people, but with one remaining constant – the ocean. And so, by way of habit or curiosity, I began searching for opportunities to protect what had always been right by my side. Through this, I was introduced to the Surfrider Foundation. 

The Surfrider Foundation is a nonprofit grassroots organization dedicated to the protection and enjoyment of our world’s oceans, waves and beaches for all people through a powerful activist network. 

Founded in 1984 by a handful of visionary surfers in Malibu, California, the Surfrider Foundation now maintains over one million supporters, activists and members, with more than 200 volunteer-led chapters and student clubs in the U.S., and more than 800 victories protecting our coasts.

Through the foundation, there are countless ways to get involved. From beach clean ups and water testing, to planting ocean friendly gardens - if you live by the sea, there’s most likely a chapter near you.  

And while we can dust our baseboards, mop our floors and rake our lawns, it is up to us to clean our waterways and oceans. After all, spending a day at the beach sounds a whole lot better than bringing out the vacuum (again), right?

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