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Protect and (Most Importantly) Enjoy!

By Morgan Barragan

Surfrider’s mission is to “Protect and Enjoy” our oceans and coasts.  Many of us who volunteer with Surfrider Long Beach work tirelessly to focus on the protection and preservation of our beaches; but let’s not forget to take the time to enjoy them as well.

As the weather is cooler with winter now upon us, it is more important than ever to get out and enjoy the beach - and to encourage others to do the same!  When the warm weather leaves us, we tend to leave the beaches; however one of our greatest means of gaining community support for our policy advocacy and action to help the environment is to remind people why our beaches are so important to us.  

A study published in 2017 by Catherine Broom, an Associate Professor at The University of British Columbia, found that children who spent more time playing outdoors were more likely to protect the environment later in life.  Though this study was focused on children’s time outdoors, it can be related to anyone’s time outdoors.  

Enjoying the beaches ourselves and encouraging the general Long Beach community to do the same can help in our efforts of protection.  

There exists a variety ways we can get our friends and neighbors down to the shorelines with us.  We can support local businesses like Jolly Sailing LB (offering sailboat charters), Kayaks on the Water (providing kayak and paddleboard rentals), and Long Beach Waterbikes (uniquely renting out waterbikes for day and night time recreation).  Each of these businesses offers fun activities that allow us to go out on the water without the chills of hopping in the water.  

Some activities without a price tag include beach walks, boardwalk bike rides and skate sessions, beach picnics with homemade lunches, beachside book club meetings, and more.   

Remember: a great way to protect the coast is to enjoy the coast.  Keep enjoying the coast (even if the weather is cool)!   

For more information on the study mentioned in this post, check out the PDF below for full article access:

Exploring the Relations Between Childhood Experiences in Nature and Young Adults' Environmental Attitudes and Behaviours