Shifting Baselines in the Surf

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Shifting baselines” refers to the incremental lowering of standards, with respect to nature, in which each new generation:

  • lacks knowledge of how the environment used to be
  • redefines what is “natural,” according to personal experience
  • sets the stage for the next generation’s shifting baseline


This film is a joint production between Shifting Baselines and Surfrider Foundation. Narration by Pro Surfer Pat O'Connell and Director Randy Olson. Music By Amotz Plessner. Featuring the song, "Times Like These" by Jack Johnson. With Photos from legendary surf photographers "Doc" Ball, Jeff Divine, Leroy Grannis, Guy Motil, David Pu'u, and Jon Steele.



This article is part of a series on Clean Water which looks at various threats to the water quality of our oceans, and the negative impacts polluted waters can have on the environment and human health.

For information about laws, policies, programs and conditions impacting water quality in a specific state, please visit Surfrider's State of the Beach report to find the State Report for that state, and click on the "Water Quality" indicator link.


This article is part of a series on the Ocean Ecosystem looking at the various species of plants and animals which depend on a healthy coast and ocean environment, and the threats that can be posed to them by human activity

For information about laws, policies and conditions impacting the beach ecology of a specific state, please visit Surfrider's State of the Beach report to find the State Report for that state, and click on the "Beach Ecology" indicator link.