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6 Tips On Beach Etiquette

6 Tips On Beach Etiquette

February 18, 2019

Beach Etiquette

If the ocean is healthy, sea turtles will also be healthy. Sea turtles graze on seagrass, allowing the plant’s blades to get more nutrients and thrive instead of becoming overgrown and rotting. This provides other animals with a larger place where they can feed and live. Sea turtles also provide habitat for small crabs and barnacles. As turtles travel through the sea, the animals attached to the shell of the turtles grow more substantial and can spread to new places, improving the dispersal of various animal species.

The sad fact is that many sea turtles die after ingesting plastic waste or are caught and killed by fisheries that are looking for commercial species. Nesting sea turtles also can’t find a place to drop these eggs in as the once tranquil, dark nesting beaches are now lit up by houses and commercial establishments. Practicing the following beach etiquettes is essential to protect the ocean and sea turtles.

  • Remove marine debris that may trap or be accidentally eaten by turtles. Reduce the plastic use and join coastal clean-ups to keep ocean and beaches clean. Avoid releasing balloons as they will most likely fall into the sea where turtles can mistake them for food and eat them.
  • Use reusable shopping bags and water bottles when going to the beach. Avoid plastic straws, use stainless steel if possible, to reduce the amount of waste that enters the ocean. Throw away waste properly. Reuse and recycle whenever possible. Don’t pour chemicals down the drain. Nesting beaches should be kept safe and dark for turtles. Lights discourage nesting female sea turtles from coming onto the beach and disorient hatchlings. Redirect, shield or turn off lights visible from the beach and don’t disturb nesting turtles, hatchlings or nests. Consider joining organized sea turtle watches that know the proper ways to watch nesting turtles safely, and how to keep the oceans clean.
  • You should be considerate of turtles and other marine life. Whether you are diving or surfing, you should never remove any animal from its habitat or touch corals. Know the laws that protect marine life. You shouldn’t feed wild animals or disturb nesting grounds. It’s important to be aware of your environment wherever you swim or walk along the beach.
  • Remove chairs, tables, umbrellas, boats and other recreational beach equipment at night to prevent nesting turtles from leaving before nesting. Knock down the sandcastles you built before leaving the beach as they can become hindrances for hatchlings or nesting turtles.
  • Support actions that promote sea turtle conservation. Join beach cleanups as well as support laws and sign petitions that protect the ocean and sea turtles.
  • Eating sustainable seafood is another way of protecting the ocean. Many common farming and fishing methods result in by-catch or significant habitat damage. Other species are caught accidentally and killed when hunting commercial species. By using a seafood guide when purchasing or ordering, you can make sustainable seafood choices.

Spread the word about ocean conservation and protection of marine life. You can use social media to improve awareness about ocean conservation.  Recruit your friends and family members to the cause. Even if you don’t live near the ocean, you can still contribute by donating to cleanup charities, educational foundations and conservation groups. Look for charities in your area that help clean the sea and protect marine life and see if they are collecting supplies or holding a fundraiser for a cleanup project.

 

Have you taken any of these or other steps to protect our oceans and the creatures who call it home?

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