The sun, the waves, the sand… Who doesn’t love a good beach day? But the beach doesn’t belong to us. The beach and the sea are homes to millions of living creatures. It is important to be respectful and responsible while visiting the beach. Here are five tips to have fun while being responsible at the beach!

 

1.) Use organic, reef-safe sunscreen.

Did you know that many sunscreens contain substances that cause coral bleaching? Read the labels on your sunscreen and avoid products that contain substances such as oxybenzone and butylparaben. These can be harmful to the coral reefs. Using reef-safe sunscreen helps prevent the toxic bleaching of these beautiful, delicate coral reefs.

2.) Switch out your plastic products for eco-friendly products. 

If you drop a plastic bag into the ocean, do you know what it resembles as it floats in the water? Jelly fish! Some creatures such as sea turtles will mistake a plastic bag for a jelly fish while hunting for their meal. Many kinds of plastic have taken the lives of all kinds of creatures. By switching to eco-friendly products such as reusable bags, you avoid the risk of these products ending up in our oceans.

3.) Give ocean creatures plenty of space.

A manatee brushing against your leg as it slowly drifts through the ocean… A dolphin giving a show as it jumps out of the sea just feet away from you… A starfish crawling along the sand right by your toes… These encounters are incredible, breathtaking, and exciting! But we must remember that these are still wild animals. They could not only hurt you, but we could hurt them. It is always fun to admire them, but keep your distance for the safety of the animals and yourself.

4.) Always dispose of trash properly. 

Make sure you never leave a piece of trash on the beach! This trash ends up in the ocean and could lead to the injury or death of an innocent animal or the destruction of their homes. Always dispose of trash properly and utilize recycle bins!

5.) Look for signs and avoid sea turtle nests. 

Sea turtle babies could possibly be one of the cutest little creatures one could ever lay eyes on! Unfortunately, their nests are often difficult to spot. Research ways to spot a nest and look out for turtle nest signs. Avoid areas that have been marked for nesting. Give them plenty of space, so they can grow safely and when they are ready they can crawl their way to the sea for the first time!

There is no harm in enjoying the beach! We should all experience the beauty in what the sea has to offer the world. But we should always be respectful of those who call it home. Let’s keep our beaches safe and clean!