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Sarah Jackson, a windsurfer and two-time world championship silver medalist, has recently made the difficult decision to leave her home on the south coast of England for the cleaner waters of Spain, The Guardian reported. The 24-year-old from Hayling Island, a windsurfing hotspot in Hampshire, has described the water conditions near her home as “surfing in a sewer” due to sewage, chemicals, and plastics Pollution.

Source: FRANCE 24 English/Youtube

Data from Southern Water confirms that untreated sewage was released into the nearby Langstone and Chichester harbors for the equivalent of 102 days in 2021. Water companies are legally allowed to discharge sewage into waterways to prevent flooding of homes after storms, but this negatively impacts the health of our oceans and the people who rely on them for their livelihoods.

Unfortunately, Sarah’s situation is not unique. No single body of water in England is currently in good ecological and chemical health. The problem is dire, and it’s not just athletes like Sarah who are suffering, but also the marine life and the communities that rely on clean water.

Sarah has now relocated to Tenerife for her training, but she hasn’t let her experience go to waste. She has become an ambassador for the Marine Conservation Society, a charity that aims to reduce ocean Pollution by 2030. “Because I spend so much time on the water – not just in the UK but around the world – I see at very close quarters the damage the human race is inflicting on the marine environment,” Sarah said.

The Marine Conservation Society’s Nicola Greaves echoes Sarah’s concerns, “Untreated sewage is being pumped into our seas for hundreds of thousands of hours each year, putting people, planet and wildlife at risk. Sarah sees first-hand the problems our seas face, and we’re grateful for her raising her awareness of our mission for a cleaner, better-protected, healthier seas for everyone to enjoy.”

It’s time for us to protect our oceans and those who rely on them. We can start by supporting organizations like the Marine Conservation Society and by being mindful of our products and how they may contribute to ocean Pollution. It’s up to all of us to ensure that future generations can enjoy the beauty of our oceans, not just for sports but for the sake of our planet and our health.

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