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Environmental Resources and Links

Environmental Resources and Links

This directory was created to promote awareness of causes of several environmental non-profit and government organizations. Here at Southwind, we not only seek to help water sports, but we also support efforts to preserve the environment. We hope you spend a few minutes (or a lifetime, if that is your calling) learning about these causes and finding a way to get involved with the work of these organizations!

National Resources Defense Council

The NRDC protects our global environment in many ways and is well worth consideration as a recipient of an annual charitable donation. This links to their Clean Water and Oceans section. JS

NRDC's annual survey of water quality monitoring and public notification at U.S. beaches finds that closings due to bacterial contamination are on the rise nationwide. Across the country, pollution caused nearly 20,000 days of closings and advisories at ocean and Great Lakes beaches last year -- more than ever recorded in the survey's 15-year history. The 2005 survey is based on information reported for 2004.

The Nature Conservancy

This wonderful organization, with offices here in Orange County and all over the USA, conserves and protects wonderful natural resources all over the world. Southwind strongly supports their efforts. This is one of our personal favorites - a MUST DO - for annual contributions. JS

The Nature Conservancy is a leading international, nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving the diversity of life on Earth. The mission of The Nature Conservancy is to preserve the plants, animals and natural communities that represent the diversity of life on Earth by protecting the lands and waters they need to survive.

Heal the Bay

A remarkable 20 year history of monitoring water quality and related issues in and around the Santa Monica Bay. Lots of opportunities for you to get involved here. 

Not so long ago, at a time when Santa Monica Bay was treated daily as a dump site, a small group of concerned people took it upon themselves to heal this troubled part of the world. They did it for those who simply wanted to swim, fish or surf safely in clean water. And they did it for the marine life that was suffering from some of the highest levels of contamination found anywhere along our nation's coastline.

Heal the Bay's efforts are focused on Santa Monica Bay and surrounding Southern California coastal waters. Our work, however, often impacts water quality for the entire state of California and even the nation.

That small group swelled into an organization and movement that has done more to recover the Bay's coastal environment than anyone could have expected. But in the process, they did more than that. They showed us that it's not too late for Southern California, that no agency is too big to fight and win, that we can heal our environment and that we can heal our Bay.

Help Your Harbor

​​Help Your Harbor is a community of students, families, businesses and clubs together working for the purpose of improving the cleanliness of California's harbors, marinas and bays. We clean local harbors and bays of trash using clean, zero emission watercraft such as kayaks, paddle boards and electric boats.

Surfrider Foundation

Founded by a bunch of board surfers about the time we started kayaking, Surfrider Foundation has done a tremendous job protecting surf breaks, monitoring water quality and acting on behalf of all our interests. Check the chapters link above to find what they are doing on your coastline. We have also included the Newport Chapter Link as an example. 

The Surfrider Foundation is a grassroots, non-profit, environmental organization that works to protect our oceans, waves, and beaches. Founded in 1984, Surfrider Foundation's most important coastal environmental work is carried out by Surfrider Foundation's 60 chapters located along the East, West, Gulf, Puerto Rican, and Hawaiian coasts.

Orange County Coastkeeper

It is amazing what this fine organization does right in our back yard (Southern California). Want to get personally involved? Give them a call! 

The Orange County Coastkeeper, founded in 1999, is a non-profit organization dedicated to the protection and preservation of the marine habitats and watersheds of Orange County through programs of education, restoration, enforcement and advocacy. We work with business, developers, cities, elected officials and regulatory agencies to develop solutions to the problems of polluted urban runoff.

Land Trust for Santa Barbara County

Another great group which deserves your support and contributions. We care about our coastal resources - do to they! 

In 1985, the Land Trust for Santa Barbara County was formed when the Santa Ynez Valley Land Trust and Carpinteria Valley Land Trust combined to serve the entire county. Today, the Land Trust for Santa Barbara County has helped to preserve over 13,000 acres of natural resource and agricultural land, including the Arroyo Hondo Preserve, Sedgwick Reserve, Carpinteria Bluffs, Coronado Butterfly Preserve, Point Sal, Carpinteria Salt Marsh and several ranches on the Gaviota Coast.

Clean Beaches Council

Since its inception in 1998, the Clean Beaches Council has been devoted to science literacy and spreading coastal scientific knowledge in forms that are understandable to the general public. This year's study, entitled 2005 State of the Beaches Report: Bacteria and Sand, is an overview of several scientific studies conducted in the last four years at select fresh water and marine beaches around the country. They demonstrate that while health officials have for years been attentive to the health risk of pathogens in the water, new information now indicates that sand may harbor even higher concentrations of pathogens.

Heal the Ocean

It's simple: The ocean can no longer be used as a dump. Heal the Ocean is attacking all obvious sources of ocean pollution.

Their Platform:

  • Tertiary Treatment of Sewage
  • Failing Septic Systems
  • Non Point-Source Pollution
  • Ocean Dumping
  • Tajiguas Landfill trash seeping into groundwater in Santa Barbara County
Environmental Protection Agency

BEACON Beach closures data base. A quick way to find beach closures where you live and where you vacation.

Centers for Disease Control

Our governmental source for everything about our health here and abroad offers this page on Recreational Water Illness. A great jumping off place for CDC information. 

Over the past century, the use of modern disinfection systems in pools and environmental improvements in our lakes, rivers, and oceans has improved the quality of recreational water. Despite this, there has been an increase over the past decade in the number of outbreaks of illness associated with swimming.