Known as the "Earth Day" for beaches, Clean Beaches week is celebrated annually in America from July 1st – July 7th. During this week, beachgoers are tasked to be proactive and attempt to address a small part of the overall waste problem. Events are organized around the USA to focus primarily on beach cleanups, but there are also family-friendly activities to supplement education about clean ocean advocacy.
With these local events and activities happening in the region, it's additionally important to have a few tips in your pocket which can help to make a difference.
So, here are 4 ways to make an impact this clean beaches week!
Carry out what you bring in - We can all get carried away with fun at the beach, but it’s important to always remember to pack up your gear, trash, and family so no one or nothing is left behind. If any of your items are plastic, it’s good to know that80% of beach litter is plastic, so your personal cleanup will actually make a difference.
Don’t disturb the dunes – Beyond it being illegal to tamper with naturally occurring dunes, dunes serve as a buffer against storms and as homes to plants and animals. If you see something or someone interfering with beach dunes, be a hero - call a ranger and let them know what’s happening.
Fill holes in the sand- We’ve all seen pictures of the sad turtle wrapped in ocean plastic, but another form of harm to the turtle community are our man-made holes in the sand. Even though building sandcastles and sand blankets are a must when on the beach, ensuring that we put the sand back is imperative if and when turtles are nesting. Just like when navigating the road with a GPS, turtles need a roadmap to find their nesting locations. Shorebirds also lay their eggs in the sand so having a safe, recognizable pathway for them is essential!
Do a mini cleanup – Before or after everyone gets in the water, hold your group accountable and pick up some additional trash! 30 minutes for a cleanup goes a long way if everyone commits and does their part. Challenging each other to collect at least one bag of litter means that the amount oceanic plastic harming our wildlife can be reduced so long as people are working together!