Happy Earth Day! On this day, it’s important to acknowledge all that our planet, in its healthy form, makes possible. Whether it’s casting to that rising brown trout, watching acres of blitzing stripers, or just seeing wildlife in its natural state, a healthy and functioning planet provides so much–not to mention, you know, providing the basic functions that make our lives possible. Yet, through our many human activities, we have harmed our planet and the ecosystems that we enjoy so much. Climate change, pollution, overfishing, and habitat destruction are just some of the many examples that show how human activity significantly harms our planet. But even amid these examples of our degrading planet, it is important to celebrate the beauty and life our planet provides in order to restore and conserve it for future generations.
Granted, the scale at which Earth is changing can be daunting and seem only reversible at the highest levels of government or through international efforts. Individually, however, you can do a lot to lessen some of the negative impacts affecting the planet: you can kick plastic, minimize your carbon footprint, get involved in local restoration efforts, buy local, or support environmentally-responsible initiatives and policies–just to name a few. Additionally, you can also support these fly fishing related companies that are doing great work when it comes to restoring and conserving our planet!
- Costa Del Mar is an absolute staple in the realm of fly fishing and larger fishing industry. Costa continues to support initiatives that improve our planet and its natural resources. Through its numerous environmental campaigns–such as Untangle Our Oceans, OCEARCH, Kick Plastic, Bio-Based Resin, and restoring the Florida Everglades–Costa exemplifies corporate responsibility and does its part to give back to the ecosystems that drive much of its business. Costa also works to conserve and restore the planet by using recycled and less CO2 intensive materials to produce their sunglasses. The environmental awareness that Costa produces, along with their emphasis on environmentally-conscious business practices, makes them a great role model within the outdoor industry.
- Patagonia has been a constant and powerful 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 more than $89 million 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 and spreads significant awareness 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, and Public Trust (2020).
- 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.” 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. In addition, Fishpond is a founding partner of Science on the Fly, an organization that “harnesses the enthusiasm, geographic reach, and conservation ethic of the fly fishing community to strategically increase the number of rivers globally that are subjects of long-term studies of water quality and watershed health.”
- Simms produces just about everything you could possibly wear for a day fly fishing. In addition, Simms supports dozens of organizations that directly improve your fishing and the planet such as Trout Unlimited, Captains for Clean Water, American Saltwater Guides Association, and Bonefish & Tarpon Trust. The Montana company has also been particularly engaged in restoring its backyard river, the Gallatin River outside of Bozeman. Simms recently partnered up with Trout Unlimited, “to restore and protect cold, clean water sources to ensure healthy fisheries for generations to come,” in the watershed.
- RepYourWater is a unique apparel company focused on bringing quality gear to anglers and outdoorsman and women. 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 Sportsmen for the Boundary Waters. to name a few. As of January 2021, RepYourWater has donated more than $295,000 to its conservation partners. If you haven’t heard of RepYourWater, check out their Fish.Explore.Conserve collection and, hopefully, support their conservation partners!
- Airflo manufactures fly fishing lines through process that is better for the planet. Airflo’s fly lines are 100% PVC free and use polyurethane, which is significantly better for the environment than PVC. For example, dangerous chemicals and toxins can leach from PVC, and the material has a short lifespan and is not efficiently recycled. Airflo has a winning strategy for their lines: better for fishing and better for the planet.
The threats facing our planet are substantial and increasing. The growing demand for rare metals will require mining, climate change continues to disrupt our planet’s ecological functions, and waterways are still fractured and polluted. Fish populations are incredibly susceptible to these effects: increasing temperatures or changing water chemistry can make a stream inhabitable to native species; dams have contributed to the precipitous global decline of anadromous salmon and steelhead; by 2050 ocean plastic will outweigh all the ocean’s fish; and marine resources will be strained to feed an ever-growing population. The good news is that, today, it is easier than ever to understand the threats and discover collaborative and innovative solutions to those challenges. Connecting with local organizations, contacting your elected officials, and being an environmentally conscious consumer are just a few of the ways that you can help–and they do in fact make a difference. So, today on Earth Day, think about how you can make a difference to help the planet and your local ecosystems.