Kayaking As an Eco Friendly Choice

Besides being a lot of fun and a good workout, kayaking is also an environmentally safe way to not only enjoy the water but also to travel on the water.

With increased development, population and motorized vehicles on the water, many lakes and rivers have become very polluted.  A body of water does not simply stand still, it is a living thing that has a delicate ecosystem and is a habitat for all sorts of aquatic life including for many plants and animals.

There are many reasons why clean water has become much harder to find, but one reason that is known to not only pollute the water but greatly disrupt the ecosystem is the use of motor boats.

Motor Boat Problems

Unfortunately it is quite common for motor boats to leak oil and gas. When these substances leak into the water combined with the oil and gas that ends up in the water from cars, there are significant disastrous results.

What Happens When Oil and Gas Leak into the Water?

Besides the obvious harmful effects of the oil and gas being absorbed by the aquatic life it also causes the body of water to be overfed with certain nutrients. This changes the ecosystem of the water and causes the lake or river to age at a much faster rate than normal.

All rivers and lakes go through a natural aging process where over time they change from water – marsh – swamp – dry land. This process is called Eutrophication and normally takes thousands of years. However with man’s carelessness this process is being sped up by leaps and bounds.

If you do use a motor boat it is important that it is properly maintained. It is also important that the trailer and motor is checked before launching in a new body of water in order to remove all aquatic weeds. A very expensive problem is the introduction of foreign plants and weeds into different waterways because of boat owners who do not clean the bottom of their boats properly.

What happens when motor boats use excessive speed?

Another major problem with motor boats is that when they use excessive speed in water that is too shallow it causes major damage and erosion to the shoreline. This problem is evident in many lakes but the effects will be more obvious in smaller lakes. In time this will completely ruin not only the quality of the water, but the condition of the shoreline, and all life and vegetation surrounding it.

When a motor boat uses excessive speed it disrupts the rooted vegetation and stirs up sediment and bottom nutrients. This completely disrupts the waters ecosystem and results in increased turbidity.

The ecosystem of every body of water is a very delicate balance and when one part is disrupted, the entire system will be upset.

How does the ecosystem work?

The ecosystem of a lake works as follows:

  • The plants use sunlight, water and nutrients from the ground as well as carbon dioxide and oxygen to grow.
  • Animals then eat those plants and those animals may be eaten by other animals.
  • Bacteria then decomposes turning dead plants and animals back into simpler compounds which then can be used as nutrients by plants.
  • For all of these things to happen there must be Oxygen.
  • Decomposition is vital because without it the body of water would fill up with dead plant and animal material.

If any one of the above steps is affected by water contamination or shore erosion, the whole system is disrupted. Hence the importance of finding safer methods to enjoy the water… such as kayaking.

Why Kayaking?

Kayaking is a self-powered mode of transportation that requires no gas, no oil and does not use excessive speed. Therefore it is a great eco-friendly way to get out and enjoy the water.

There is no destruction to the water, no harmful damage to the shoreline and there is no threat to the ecosystem or the aquatic life. Plus it is fun and a good workout. It is a win – win situation.

Although you may be able to travel further distances at a much faster rate in a motor boat, kayaking offers the advantage of being able to explore areas that motor boats could not access as well as really enjoy the living environment without scaring the ducks, birds, fish and wildlife away.

In my experience, kayaking allows you to really connect with nature and ride with it… a feeling that I have never had while riding on a motor boat.

In Conclusion…

In conclusion if you do find yourself using a motor boat, keep the safety of the environment in mind and keep the boat well maintained and its speed down a notch or two.

However I strongly encourage you to adopt the kayak or an inflatable kayak as a favourite mode of transportation on any body of water. This will help keep the water that we all want to enjoy clean, safe, alive and in existance for a very long time.

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