Plastic pollution is suffocating our ocean and the many animals that call it home. Researchers estimate there are now over 5.25 trillion pieces of plastic in the ocean with the number continuing to grow every day. This pollution is impacting our marine ecosystems, wildlife such as seabirds, dolphins, fish, and turtles, and plastic fragments are even displacing plankton at the base of the food chain.

So what’s the best way to combat this global epidemic facing our ocean? It’s simple: we need to stop the problem at its source! The Surfrider Foundation’s Ocean Friendly Restaurants program does just that. One restaurant, one customer at a time, increases awareness, drives change in behavior and ultimately creates scalable impact to reduce our plastic (and water!) footprint.

Waterman’s Harbor in Dana Point was just honored and recognized by the Surfrider Foundation as South Orange County first certified “Ocean Friendly Restaurant.” With incredible views of the Dana Point Harbor, Waterman’s meets all mandatory standards for qualifying as a Surfrider Foundation Ocean Friendly Restaurant, as well as uses Rainforest Alliance Certified paper products and eco cardboard containers.

Surfrider Foundation’s campaign works with and recognizes restaurants who institute self-regulated ocean friendly practices that reduce disposable plastic waste that end up on our beaches and oceans. Restaurants cannot use polystyrene (eg. Styrofoam), and they must have proper recycling practices, reusable tableware, no plastic bags on take out, no beverages in plastic bottles, water conservation efforts, sustainable “best choice” seafood and vegan menu options, and straws on request.

Contact Chair: Chris Zamocyanik, chris@me.com or Denise Erkeneff, denisedd@cox.net for more information on Ocean Friendly Restaurant certification.