Mermaids Sighted on Ocean Day

santa barbara harbor panoramaWhen my sister and I were younger, we were infatuated with the Disney Princess “The Little Mermaid”. All we wanted was to grow up to be mermaids and swim “under the sea”. This past Sunday, I had the opportunity to make that dream come true. Mermaid Beach Clean-UpI attended the World Ocean Day celebration put forth by Channel Islands Outfitters and the Save The Mermaids. The ocean-friendly group consisted of men and women who cleaned up both Goleta beach and Leadbetter Beach that day; searching for plastic and waste that could harm our ocean friends. The choice to call the founders “mermaids”, is not an exaggeration. After the cleanup, the members of CIO (Channel Islands Outfitters) and Save The Mermaids braved the wind and paddled out onto the water covered in sea-shell bra’s and smiles. The group of long time, new and furry paddlers out on the water was a sight to see.mermaid paddle boardingBut what is World Ocean Day about? Channel Islands Outfitters is a For Benefit Corporation, meaning that our commitment to Save the Oceans is engrained in our corporate structure. Ocean Day was another reason for us to celebrate the environment we work so hard to protect. Plastic marine debris affects at least 267 species worldwide and World Ocean Day was another chance to reduce that impact. The time I was able to spend with the Mermaids on Ocean Day taught me that there was more to their interaction with the ocean than frolicking in the surf in sea-shell bras; they are ocean ambassadors. “The Mermaids act as ambassadors to the sea by educating our community about human-sourced ocean pollution and advocating for behaviors that benefit the ocean environment”.So since World Ocean Day (June 8) has come and gone, what can you do to reduce your impact on the ocean? Most of them are pretty simple, and you’ve most likely heard them before. First and foremost, take a Mermaid Pledge and reduce your plastic waste. One-time-use plastic is one of the biggest opponents ocean friendly folk face.

  1. Don’t use plastic water cups! Why not buy a cool bottle to reuse?
  2. Try participating in the No Straw Summer Challenge. When you go to restaurant, why not ask for no straw? It’s another one time use plastic that is so small you may not even notice it.
  3. Every time you order coffee, do you think about the plastic top holding your morning  boost? We do. Invest in what we call a “mermaid friendly” container. A cup or mug that you can reuse!
  4. While Santa Barbara recently became plastic bag free May 14, 2014, there are still some floating out there! Bring your own bag and try to think like a mermaid!
While becoming a mermaid is a little different from the fairytale Disney made it out to be, the benefits are well worth the work. So maybe we’ll see you at our next clean up, we’ll be waiting by the water. 

It is our mission to save the oceans and natural places by fostering an understanding of them through education, adventures and outdoor experiences.