THE WEEKLY PRESS: What is Social Impact?

This time around on the Mermaid Weekly Press: Social Impact

“Social impact is jargon – broad, vague, and somewhat inaccessible by definition. So what does it really mean? Technically, social impact is how organizations’ actions affect the surrounding community. In the Stanford context, I’d posit that organizations are students and our actions are how we are applying the skills we’re building to affect our surroundings.” – Stanford Lady

I read the above quote the other day while choosing not to perform certain academic assignments. Don’t ask me how I got so far down this rabbit hole to look at an article dating back to 2013, because I don’t know how it happened. I thought it interesting though. What companies and/or organizations make a positive social impact for their surrounding communities? Orvis seems like they do a lot of good with their 5% for Nature. If you’re not 1% for the planet, then I probably should’t support you, even though I don’t track this as closely as I should. Is The James River Mermaid creating a positive social impact? Probably not. I don’t think a large enough audience exists here, but education, environmental sustainability, and encouragement to do what’s right on and off the water surely have found there way in to one or two posts…

While the Mermaid certainly holds no claim to be an organization of any sort, there are simply ways that it can support the local community and the community of mother earth. I know, it sounds like hippy shit, but just keep reading, dammit.

1) Leave the water better than how you found it. Pack out one, a few, or a few dozen pieces of trash the next time you fish. Worst comes to worst, if you don’t catch anything, at least you have a good conscious.

2) Know what you’re fishing for, how much you can play it, and how to handle the species you’re targeting. I’ve commented on this before when discussing the Fall brook trout spawn. It’d be nice for those fish to be there for the next person to come along. If you’re selfish, think about letting that sucker grow bigger for your next trip.

3) Even when not on the water, get your hands on some litter, you filthy animal! I do this thing called, A piece a day. I picked up the idea from my girlfriend as a resolution for 2018. No matter where I am, I pick up at least one piece of trash a day. Again, even if I have a shitty day, at least I know I did something worth while.

4) Support the companies that matter, even when you’re supporting the man. I use Amazon. I like it. It’s convenient as hell and when I need something that I can’t get anywhere else, and need it with free 2-day shipping, I can always get it on Amazon. However, I use and you should too. If you have an Amazon account, a small portion of your purchase gets donated to a non-profit of your choice. My current choice? Captains for Clean Water.

5) Support the companies that are making a difference. Or, at least support the ones that’re trying. I mentioned Orvis earlier. Others? Just to name a few off the top of my head, Rep Your Water, Flood Tide Company, Emerger Strategies, Patagonia, and Southern Culture on the Fly. Most fly fishing companies should support sustainability and the outdoors – or at least say they do. If they don’t, then do we really need them? Just food for thought.

6) I don’t have a sixth right now. It’s Fall and the fishing is good. Go fish.



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