Paradise Lost

For me, it was the perfect beach day; Rain, wind, clouds.  There was no one on the beach and even better no one in the water.  The waves were perfect and I was alone to enjoy them, nothing could ruin this session.  I jumped in the warm September water only to have my sweet illusions wash away.

The surf spot is Located next to a large drainage pipe.  Normally this is not an issue, and I have never given it a second thought.

What woke me up was the black leave filled water featuring a smattering of plastic debris.  Apparently this pipe is still working.

Not to be deterred I tried my best to ignore the situation.   I caught a wave and rode it to the beach.  Smiling, I began the slow walk back to the pipe to paddle out again.  I can deal with a little runoff.

My second wakeup call was seeing the huge dead raccoon on the beach.  Clearly it had floated out of the pipe.  Despite my earlier enthusiasm, I knew it was time to leave.  I cant deal with dead critters floating around.

This was an explicit example of nonpoint source pollution.

The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection defines Non point source pollution as

Nonpoint source (NPS) pollution originates from many diffuse sources. It is carried and deposited into waterways and groundwater by rainfall or snowmelt moving over and through the ground. As the runoff moves, it picks up natural and human-made pollutants, depositing them into lakes, rivers, wetlands, coastal waters, and even underground sources of drinking water

Runnoff causes numerous beach closings evey year, and for avid water goers can cause health issues.

Surfrider chapters around the country are working to stem the runoff problem. Follow the link and get involved!

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