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Tuesday, October 18, 2016
Measure Its Impact: Swimming Into Plastic Bags
Open water swimmers and triathletes occasionally talk about being scared of sharks and the pain of jellyfish stings.
But, in reality, shark encounters are quite rare and jellyfish stings are mostly avoided by most swimmers on most occasions in the ocean.
But what really startles us in the open water is running into floating plastic bags.
Whether we are swimming along at a good pace with an elevated heart rate or more leisurely and just enjoying the open water, when we smack into a floating plastic bag, our heart seems to skip a beat. That moment when our hand is engulfed in the plastic bag, we instinctively stop and jerk our head up. Seemingly coming out of nowhere, swimming into a plastic bag can literally scare us, albeit momentarily.
If the experience in England is any indicator, then these unanticipated plastic bag encounters may be reduced along the California coast in the future.
When a 5p charge for plastic bags was introduced in England in 2015, the use of plastic bags significantly decreased (83%) in England. Wales saw a 75% drop in plastic bags after a fee was introduced in 2011; Northern Ireland saw a 71% drop in 2013; Scotland saw an 80% drop in 2014.
While many eyes are on the Trump versus Hillary presidential race in America on the November ballot this year, the State of California has two proposed measures that could, if they are passed by the citizens of California, could directly lead to a decrease in plastic bag usage and littering across the state and along its coastal shores.
Measure 65 regarding carryout bags.
The proposed initiative statute states, "Redirects money collected by grocery and certain other retail stores through mandated sale of carryout bags. Requires stores to deposit bag sale proceeds into a special fund to support specified environmental projects. Fiscal impact: Potential state revenue of several tens of millions of dollars annually under certain circumstances, with the monies used to support certain environmental programs."
Measure 67 regarding ban on single-use plastic bags.
The proposed referendum states, "A 'Yes' vote approves, and a 'No' vote rejectsk a statute that prohibits grocery and other stores from providing customers single-use plastic or paper carryout bags but permits sale of recycled paper bags and reusable bags. Fiscal impact: Relatively small fiscal efforts on state and local governments, including a minor increase in state administrative costs and possible minor local government savings from reduced litter and waste management costs."
Copyright © 2016 by World Open Water Swimming Association
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Open Water Swimming Magazine
Open Water Swimming MagazineThe Open Water Swimming Magazine is the monthly magazine entirely focused on open water swimming heroes and heroines of every age, ability, and background. Published by the World Open Water Swimming Association, the Open Water Swimming Magazine is a free benefit to WOWSA members.
WOWSA Member Benefits include 12 issues of the Open Water Swimming Magazine, the annual 276-page Open Water Swimming Almanac, a free listing in Sponsor My Swim, outstanding product discounts from FINIS, an entry in Openwaterpedia and more...
The Other Shore
The Other Shore follows world record holder and legendary swimmer Diana Nyad as she comes out of a thirty-year retirement to re-attempt an elusive dream: swimming 103 miles non-stop from Cuba to Florida without the use of a shark cage. Her past and present collide in her obsession with a feat that nobody has ever accomplished. At the edge of The Devil’s Triangle, tropical storms, sharks, venomous jellyfish, and one of the strongest ocean currents in the world, all prove to be life-threatening realities. Timothy Wheeler’s documentary brings Diana Nyad’s extraordinary adventure to life as Diana sets out to prove that will and determination are all you need to make the unimaginable possible.
2014 Open Water Swimming Almanac
An Almanac for Open Water SwimmingAn almanac is essentially a body of knowledge which is so complete that it enables people in different fields to make predictions about the future of their respective industries.
This, for example, was the purpose of the traditional farmers almanacs. It enabled farmers to determine as accurately as possible which crops to plant for the greatest harvests in a given year.
But the farmers almanac was just one example among many.
There are, of course, many different kinds of almanacs.
In fact, there is even one for open water swimming...
Preview the Open Water Swimming Almanac:
The trends are very clear.
The tide is rising for open water swimming.