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The Environmental Impacts of Kayaking – Is it Risky?

Kayaking is an activity enjoyed by many people of all matures. It needs little or no practiced and nearly anybody of any skills can participate. It’s most popular as a summertime sport, but is also a fantastic activity during the wintertime. Kayaking also seems relatively amiable to the Earth; more so than speed boating or water skiing. Because a kayak doesn’t create large or frequent waves, require fuel, or disperse hazards into the atmosphere, it is indeed a fairly safe activity for humans and wildlife alike.

Kayaking on freshwater streams and streams creates little turbulence and therefore, does not disturb fish or other aquatic life. Actually, the gentle paddling and movement of the kayak helps to bring kelp and seaweed to the surface, making for handy snacking to the fish. Yet, there is a downside to kicking up an all-you-can-buffet for your fishy friends. Additionally bringing food to the surface, kayaking also stirs up litter that’s been lingering beneath the waters. Most fish will not eat the garbage that rises up, but other aquatic animals will mistake it for food. This could cause the animals to choke on the indigestible litter, resulting in death. As hazardous as this sounds, it isn’t very likely for such a happening to occur. Most litter in ponds and streams is found along the shoreline and settles in the sand and dirt, and is unlikely to drift away to the chief body of water.

Unlike boats operated by motor and fuel, kayaks pose little or no harm to the fish swimming beneath. Kayaks do not move at a rapid pace, and the fish swimming underneath have ample time to take out of the boat’s way. And because kayaks don’t have a motor, fish have no risk of getting caught underneath the boat.

One possible hazard that results from kayaking is human waste. This depends solely on where you arrange to kayak, and if there are resources available ( like camp sites) along the shoreline. When there are no facilities in sight, you’re paddling in the middle of a lake, and nature calls, then often you are presented with no choice but to expel your waste in the middle of the water. While human waste is believed biodegradable, it can be harmful when ingested by fish. The only restorative measure is to avoid using the water as a restroom, but again, this can’t always be helped. Some public streams and streams have initiated steps to preserve the grade of the water by requiring permits for kayaking. This won’t eradicate an individual waste problem, but does help regulate entry into the lake and prevent it from growing overcrowded.

An essential aspect to not overlook when kayaking is that you are a guest in someone else’s home. You may not be greeted by anybody or be in a position to kick up your feet and watch TV, but the water is home to many aquatic animals and wildlife. Just as you would not throw trash on the floor or destroy the home of another, you should not do it outdoors either. Keep all trash with you in your kayak and properly get rid of it after you return to shore. Don’t dump anything in the water, and prevent expelling human waste if in the slightest degree possible. By doing everything you can, you will help keep kayaking a safe and enjoyable activity for yourself and the surroundings.


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