Chadd Konig, somewhere north of Santa Barbara. Photo: Aroyan

Santa Barbara surfer Chadd Konig is currently finishing off a paddle from Santa Cruz to Santa Barbara to raise awareness about “fracking.” What’s fracking, you say? That’s exactly the question Chadd wants you to ask. Also known as hydraulic fracturing, fracking is an increasingly common technique in the oil production process in which water, sand, and (hazardous) chemicals are used to fracture geological formations, most often shale rock, and stimulate the flow of oil or gas. Fracking has been linked to severe instances of water and air pollution, as well as earthquakes and ground subsidence. Chadd’s mission is to provide information–to both local residents and beyond–needed to make a difference.

The Journey: The coastline between Santa Cruz and Santa Barbara is home to some of the most magical and raw landscapes, sea life, and nature California has to offer. Chadd will be traveling down the coast on a paddle board for approximately 300 miles. Many regions of this coastline are only accessible by water and will be explored during this journey. The journey will go from July 24th, 2012 to August 20th, 2012. The goal is to direct people's attention to petitions and legislation that will aim to stop "Fracking" in California.

The Issue: In Santa Barbara County, Venoco, Inc. has already fracked two oil wells without alerting local authorities or neighboring landowners. It looks as if Venoco Inc. hopes to exploit the Monterey Shale formation, hailing it as the most productive "shale play" in the United States. The formation goes from Santa Barbara to Sacramento and passes through some of the largest aquifers in the state. In other parts of the country, people living near fracking projects are experiencing unbelievable consequences to their water supplies, including severe health problems like intense body pain and brain tumors. Another effect of Fracturing was recently documented by Researchers from the U.S. Geological Survey who stated that for three decades until 2000, seismic events in the nation's midsection averages 21 a year. They jumped to 50 in 2009, 87 in 2010 and 134 in 2011.

Chadd has teamed up with the Environmental Defense Center of Santa Barbara, who already have two lawyers working on this issue, as well a webpage dedicated to information on "Fracking." Click here for more information.

Chadd, departing from Santa cruz. Photo: Aroyan

Landing on a desolate beach. Photo: Aroyan

Halfway across Monterey Bay during the 26-mile crossing. Floating over 2,000 feet of water, 7 miles to nearest land. Photo: Aroyan

Chadd's first Big Sur exfoliation. Mud from a fresh spring where they collected drinking water. Photo: Aroyan

Journaling his way down the coast. Photo: Aroyan

Body-womping without a soul in sight. Photo: Aroyan

Leaving the waterfalls of Big Sur. Photo: Aroyan

Preparing to depart secluded cove near Pt. Lobos. Photo: Aroyan

Two pages out of Chadd's detailed journal. Photo: Aroyan

Searching for a calm, sandy beach to sleep upon. Photo: Aroyan

Plenty of these up there.

The beauty of the coast under threat. Photo: Aroyan

To sign the petition, click here.