Happy Earth Day! On this day, it’s important to acknowledge all that our planet, in its healthy form, does for us. Whether it’s fly fishing, hiking, you name it, a healthy functioning planet makes it all happen. Yet, through our many human activities, we have harmed our planet and the ecosystems that we enjoy so much. Climate change, plastic pollution, overfishing, are just some of the many examples that show how human activity significantly harms our planet.
Individually, you can do a lot to lessen your negative impacts on the planet: you can kick plastic, minimize your carbon footprint, buy local, and support environmentally-responsible initiatives and policies–just to name a few. But you can also support these fly fishing related companies and organizations that are doing their part to restore and conserve our planet!
- Patagonia has been a constant and loud voice for environmental activism and corporate responsibility. Patagonia’s 1% For the Planet program, which devotes 1% of Patagonia’s sales for the preservation and restoration of the natural environment, has donated $89 million in cash to grassroots environmental projects. Another foundation of Patagonia’s corporate model, is reducing their impact on the planet, such as by using recycled materials in its products. Also, Patagonia shares its environmentally conscious beliefs through its award-winning films like Damnation (2014) and Artifishal (2019)–both of which speak to the beauty and wild, natural species that free-flowing rivers bring.
- Fishpond is based out of Denver and is the first fly fishing company to become a certified B Corporation, ensuring high standards of corporate environmental responsibility. “From climate change, endangered species, and environmental protection for the special places threatened, we must use the Fishpond brand as a force for good, writes Fishpond. An example of Fishpond’s unmatched devotion to improving the planet is their Cyclepond fabric, which is made from recycled commercial fishing nets and used in many Fishpond products.
- RepYourWater is a unique apparel company, focussed on bringing quality gear to anglers and outdoorsman. RepYourWater places conservation high atop its list of corporate goals by donating 3% of all sales to its conservation partners, which include: various Trout Unlimited chapters, Bonefish and Tarpon Trust, Wild Steelhead Coalition, Backcountry Hunters and Anglers, and the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership, to name a few. If you haven’t heard of RepYourWater, check out their Fish.Explore.Conserve collection and, hopefully, support their conservation partners!
- Costa Del Mar is an absolute staple in the realm of fly fishing. Costa’s devotion to the improvement of the the planet and its waters has reached new heights. Through its numerous environmental campaigns–such as Untangle Our Oceans, OCEARCH, #OneCoast, Kick Plastic, and Bio-Based Resin–Costa has exemplified corporate responsibility. Costa also works to conserve and restore the planet by using recycled and less CO2 intensive materials for the production of their sunglasses. The environmental awareness that Costa has produced and continues to do so, along with their emphasis on environmentally-conscious business practices, makes them a great role model within the outdoor industry.
- Waterkeeper Alliance: is an ever-growing community of grassroots leaders that are focussed on the protection of clean water. As a non-profit charity, Waterkeeper uses donations to fund projects and efforts that protect “more than 2.5 million square miles of rivers, lakes and coastal waterways on six continents”. With over 300,000 supporters, Waterkeeper has the manpower needed to enact effective change across the globe and focus on their three overarching campaigns: Clean and Safe Energy, Clean Water Defense, and Pure Farms-Pure Waters. For more information on how to get involved with the Waterkeeper Alliance or to donate (which are deductible for federal tax purposes), check out this link.
- Trout Unlimited: is arguably America’s most noteworthy and active fishing-related non-profit organization. TU utilizes a complex and motivated network of 300,000+ members and supporters to protect North American coldwater fisheries and watersheds. TU’s conservation approach is based on protecting habitat, reconnecting fragmented waterways, restoring essential habitat, and sustaining these endeavors, all based on science. The TU network’s reach is massive with projects spanning coast to coast and many locations in between. For more on how to get involved with TU and help coldwater fisheries, check out this link.
The threats facing our planet are substantial and increasing. Whether its dangerous mining operations in Alaska’s Bristol Bay watershed, toxic algal blooms in Florida associated with irresponsible agriculture practices, trillions of tons of plastic destroying our ocean ecosystems, the decimation of wild fish species, or climate change, something needs to change. The good news is that, today, it is easier than ever to understand the threats and how to help. Connecting with local organizations, signing petitions, and being an environmentally conscious consumer are just a few of the ways that you can help, but they make a difference. So, today on Earth Day, think about how you can make a difference to help the planet and your local ecosystems.
This article was written by Flylords’ Conservation Editor, Will Poston