Protecting Our Beaches
Summer is here and you know what that means, warm weather and outdoor activities! The summer weather is amazing in North Carolina but it can also get very hot. When the heat starts, our beaches get packed with people trying to cool down. This includes our many visitors as well as our locals. People simply love to go to the beach when it's nice outside. There are people that like to look for shells, surf, run, read, build sand castles, play in the water, and the list goes on. While our beaches provide so many recreational opportunities, they also provide habitats to different plants and animals. Beaches also provide dunes, which protect beach residents from high winds and waves during large storms. All of these features are important and we need to protect them as much as we can. One way to protect our beach is to use the "Leave No Trace" approach and here are few tips that may help:
Stay on trails and boardwalks and avoid dunes
This will protect animal and plants and will reduce erosion.
Prevent litter and pollution
Dispose of your trash properly. Bring an extra trash bag in case a receptacle is not available.
Reduce the amount of trash you create by using reusable food and beverage containers.
When fishing, collect and dispose of any broken or unused fishing lines.
If you smoke, carry a portable ashtray to the beach so you can dispose of your butts properly when you return home.
Do not feed the birds or other wildlife
This causes the animals to become accustomed to being fed at popular beach sites where they leave their waste behind. This waste increases harmful microorganisms on the beach and water.
Pick up after your animals
Collect and dispose of your animals waste properly. Bacteria from the waste contributes to poor water quality and can pose a risk to swimmers.
Prevent pollution from boats
Pump out your boat sewage in onshore sanitary facilities instead of dumping it into the water.
By following these simple steps, we can all help protect and preserve our beaches for future generations to enjoy.