Keep the lines clean.

Pick Up 3

A short film about ocean and beach pollution. The young film maker comes up with a solution to how you can help. It's simple, Pick Up 3 and the difference you will see!

By Dan Colburn, who picks up three after every session.

Whether it was on vacation in Waikiki, at a beachside BBQ or an intentional, deliberate mission you made to try surfing, you will always remember your first time: the feeling of the warm sun hitting your face, the puckering taste of the frothy saltwater, the sugary sand and the beautiful, clean, clear water.

Well, those last two maybe not so much.

While the beach is a magnet for sun worshipers of all kinds, it’s also a magnet for all the baggage that comes with swaths of inconsiderate humans: cigarette butts, cans, bottles, fast food wrappers, dirty diapers and plastics of all kinds.

That’s right, I said dirty diapers … believe it.

The sad fact is that while people often have the time of their lives at the beach, it almost always results in some sort of pollution or destruction. Or both.

We drive our carbon spewing monoliths to public parking lots, we tromp across fragile dune lines to get to the ocean and after all is said and done, we leave way more than we brought. I’m not casting guiltless aspersions, being a material consuming human makes me a guilty party as well (albeit a bit more conscious and informed).

While the pollution takes a toll on the beach aesthetically, the true penalty is paid by the local ecosystem. In the summer months sea turtles come ashore throughout coastal Florida to nest, however, being extremely sensitive creatures, if the beach is littered they tend to not lay and will go elsewhere or in some cases, not nest at all.

Hundreds of sea turtles are killed every year by fishing line and six pack ring holders wrapping around their flippers and necks. Another cause is the mistaken ingestion of plastic bags, which turtles often confuse for a tasty jellyfish. These are common items found on every beach after the weekend warriors have all gone home.

If merely disposed of properly, simply picked up and put into a large, quite evident garbage can, these items can greatly reduce the unnecessary deaths of these ancient sea farers.

Fortunately, there are people who care enough to go the extra mile for those who don’t. The Surfrider Foundation ( has been protecting shorelines all around the world since 1984. With one of the most publicized and successful campaigns “Say No To Plastics,” Surfrider has helped bring much needed awareness to the issues surrounding single use plastics (plastic shopping bags, water and soda bottles, etc.).

Another organization that deserves mention is Pick Up Three ( Really, it’s more of a movement than an actual organization. Pick Up Three was started by a 12-year-old kid from southern California who didn’t like seeing pollution on the beaches where he surfed. His basic premise being if everyone who visits the beach picked up not only their own garbage but three additional pieces, we would notice a tremendous difference in the amount of trash. Pick Up Three has gained cooperation and support from surf industry giants such as Channel Islands Surfboards and Matix clothing.

With Earth Day right around the corner, we should all take a renewed interest in the environment. Many of you already practice what I am preaching and for that I say thank you … keep it up and spread the word. Enjoy nature but leave only your footprints.




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