Beaches are a central hub of summer activity for both locals and tourists. They are more than a nice place to swim and soak up the sun, they are a source of food and livelihood for many. How do humans depend on the ocean without doing their part to keep it clean? Don’t make this mistake.
1. Spreading Environmental Awareness
When people care about their environment, they are more likely to protect it. Caring comes from understanding. Learn all you can about your beaches, local wildlife and the problems they face, such as pollution. Then spread the word! It can be as easy as hyping up the amazing ecology of your local beach to your friends and family.
2. Becoming Active in Your Community
There may already be people spreading awareness in your community. Consider teaming up with local environmental education initiatives. They may teach classes or give tours of ecological hotspots such as sunset cliffs tide pools in your area. If they are accepting volunteers, consider lending a hand.
3. Cleaning up After Yourself
The adage of campers and hikers worldwide, “leave no trace,” is one to live by. Leave places just as you found them. This means you need to be responsible for your trash, not disturb the environment and avoid bringing home any wildlife. When you are planning your beach trip, make things easy on yourself and take a couple of trash bags with you.
4. Settings Others up for Success
Without the proper facilities, it can be harder to get everyone else to follow the rules of “leave no trace.” If you want the majority of the public to make less of an environmental impact, give them the tools to do so. Check with local authorities first, of course, but see what you can do about providing trash cans on your beaches if they aren’t already there.
5. Turning Cleaning into Fun
There’s no reason doing your part to keep beaches healthy needs to be a chore. Make it a party! Organize clean-up days as an excuse to bring all your friends together for a nice beach day. Play music while you gather trash. Set up rewards, like private boat charters to survey your good work.
6. Involving Local Government
Local governing bodies can be a powerful form of support for your beach clean-up efforts this summer. Your town council or mayor may be able to provide funding for your endeavor. Official signage could be a big help. You may also want to review policies in place for environmental protection.
7. Making it a Habit
One clean-up day is wonderful, but your beach may not stay clean for long. They are high-traffic areas and trash is bound to pile up again. Make cleaning up a habit every summer, or every time to visit. Eventually, picking up a few pieces of trash here and there will become second nature.
Beaches are an integral part of the health of the environment and people. They are a source of life for many creatures and a popular destination for summertime fun. Do your part to keep your local beaches looking good for years of enjoyment to come.