As we round the corner into Memorial Day weekend, for many of us it's time to head to the beach, whether the ocean, lake, river or stream. It also means it's time for Dr. Beach's annual ranking of the top 10 best beaches in the US. While the list has suspects from the usual states (e.g. California, Florida, Hawaii, Massachusetts, New York & North / South Carolina), overlooking Maine and Oregon AGAIN, this year's winner, St. George Island State Park, is a newcomer on the barrier island, St. George Island. Looks like a great place and another one to add to my list of beaches to check out.
And as we round this Memorial Day corner, it serves us well to look at what is happening in the ocean as we are ~25% of the way through the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development. If the ocean decade had gotten out of the gate in a more timely fashion, covid delayed things, maybe there'd be more to cheer about, but as we transition from La Nina to El Nino there is cause for concern as the ocean is as warm as it's been since record keeping begin in the early 1980s. That's not a good sign because a warming ocean means the ice shelves melt quicker and the ocean itself expands, both contributing to increased sea level rise.
Why this is a concern beyond just 2023 and the length of El Nino is the ocean has already absorbed 90%+ of the excess heat generated by climate change over the last ~50 years so is warming at an alarming pace and now the weather pattern accelerates this warming. Let me be crystal clear, many fish and marine mammals need cold water to survive so what happens as those cold areas of the ocean shrink? Couple this with overfishing and plastic pollution, it's clear the ocean is under pretty severe duress and that's not a good thing for the source of minimally every 2nd breath we take.
So as you head off to the beach this weekend, please take 15 minutes to consider this and think about what you can do to alleviate the ocean's stress. We fully agree with Surfrider Foundation that the ocean needs more friends and one thing that will help is if you buy some beach gear from BeachNecessities.com as to the best of our knowledge, we are the only company investing 1%+ of our annual revenue back into aquatic, both marine and freshwater, conservation, education and science. So this Memorial Day weekend, and beyond, let's step up for the ocean and our freshwater resources because we can't live without them.
Protecting our beaches, ocean, lakes, ponds, rivers and streams one baja hoodie at a time!