I traveled to Los Angeles in October 2014 to take photos for my childhood friend who lives there. I was really looking forward to this trip because I wanted to make the most of it and try my hand at surfing. One night it started raining really hard and being from Bellingham, WA I am used to rain and didn’t think twice about it. When I woke up the following morning, I asked my friend when we could go out and he said “Are you crazy? No one goes in the water after it rains. You could get MRSA, hep C, virus, respiratory infection, etc.” I was shocked. Because it rains so infrequently in LA, all the sewage, garbage, oil, and shit (literally, human fecal matter) runs right down the streets into the sand and the ocean. During a typical rain storm as much as 10 billion gallons of rain runoff enters the ocean.


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Upon returning to Bellingham, I kept thinking about not being able to go surfing while I was down there. The inability to enter the water for three days was crazy to me so I decided to raise awareness surrounding the decreasing water quality of our oceans. I developed the idea for this photo shoot and called it “HAZMAT Surfing”. I think if we continue with this pollution trend we are in right now, in 25 years people will have to throw on a hazmat suit to go surfing in order to protect themselves from all the contaminates and pollution in the ocean. Ever heard of Garbage Island?

More info: DYRLANDproductions.com

When visiting Los Angeles, one night a rain storm started

The next morning I was eager to go surfing, but my friend said no one goes in the water after it rains

You could get MRSA, hep C, virus, respiratory infection…

Because it rains so infrequently in LA, all the sewage, garbage, oil, and shit (literally, human fecal matter) runs right down the streets into the sand and the ocean

During a typical rain storm as much as 10 billion gallons of rain runoff enters the ocean

I kept thinking about not being able to go surfing while I was down there. The inability to enter the water for three days was crazy to me

I decided to raise awareness surrounding the decreasing water quality of our oceans

If we continue with this pollution trend, in 25 years people will have to throw on a hazmat suit to go surfing

I hope more people, companies, and communities may want to jump on board and spread the word to take the next steps towards improving ocean’s pollution

A conversation needs to start and we have to start somewhere

These photos are a great easy way to visually communicate with people about the potential direction of our ocean’s future

Photos by Michael Dyrland & Mike Marshall