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Keep Our Beaches Clean | Who doesn’t love spending a hot summer day at the beach with their family or friends? Not only do beaches provide a relaxing outdoor haven for those lucky enough to live near one, but they also serve as places for recreational activities where you, your loved ones, and even your pet dog can enjoy the cool breeze and the warm sun.
While beaches provide us with a space for a weekend getaway, in the larger scheme of things they are much more than that. Beaches are also very important ecosystems that play important environmental roles for their surrounding locales. They provide a home for many species of animals, act as a buffer against tropical storms, help mitigate the detrimental effects of climate change, and so much more.
With this in mind, this article will provide you with 7 important reasons why you should help keep our beaches clean, by outlining the important roles that beaches play in our ecosystem and how regular beach cleanups can help our beaches play these roles effectively.
Over the last few decades, humans have become more and more aware of the detrimental effects of their activities on marine life. Plastic waste is, unfortunately, one of the biggest threats to marine species today, as many sea animals consume these waste products or get trapped by them.
As garbage washes up on the shore, this provides us, humans, with the opportunity to remediate some of the negative effects of plastic pollution in our oceans. By cleaning up plastic waste from the shore before the tide pulls it back to sea again, we can help save marine animals by reducing the chances that these animals will come into contact with plastic waste in the future.
Other than being important elements in the natural ecosystem, beaches are beautiful and diverse natural landscapes that attract a lot of people from far and wide. Unfortunately, pollution on beaches takes away from the beauty of these natural landscapes and causes them to become degraded and abused.
By helping to keep our beaches clean you are essentially helping to preserve these natural treasures for future generations to enjoy as well.
One of the most commonly littered items on beaches is cigarette butts. Moreover, this type of pollutant is one of the most common found in oceans. While cigarette butts are indeed small, they can take up to 10 years to fully decompose. In that much time, cigarette butts in our oceans can cause a lot of damage to marine species and ecosystems by contaminating the water with toxic chemicals.
In just an hour of exposure, a single cigarette butt can contaminate about 8 liters of water with dangerously toxic chemicals. Therefore, think about the good you could do simply by picking up and properly disposing of 10 to 20 cigarette butts every time you visit the beach.
Seaside communities attract fishing and tourism during much of the year and this helps to boost the economy. When beaches are clean and beautiful, this attracts many more tourists and in turn, attracts many more small businesses to set up shop on or near beaches. When beaches are dirty and littered, however, tourism tends to die down by a substantial amount.
By helping to keep our beaches clean you are essentially helping your local economy by attracting more tourists, fishers, and businesses to the beach. With a clean enough beach, local businesses like tourism-oriented businesses and scuba diving classes will be able to set up shop, thereby attracting more tourists and visitors.
We all know that litter makes for an unattractive environment. However, litter on our beaches can also pose a danger to us that many people don’t stop to consider. Metal with sharp edges and small pieces of glass hidden in the sand are a public health hazard as they pose a threat to the safety of beachgoers. Moreover, such items pose a huge threat to animals like pet dogs who may accidentally step on or even swallow these items while at the beach.
Picking up items like this at the beach and disposing of them appropriately can go a long way in making our beaches a safer environment. Just make sure you do not injure yourself while picking up these small pieces of glass and metal.
Many studies have suggested that the average seafood consumer today ends up consuming a lot of microplastics as a result of eating seafood. These plastics and the chemicals in them can accumulate in our bodies over the years and lead to a whole host of health problems.
By keeping beaches clean, especially of plastic waste, you are essentially helping to make seafood safer and healthier for people to consume. So much of our plastic waste ends up in the bellies of marine animals in the form of microplastics, and this is clearly not just dangerous for them, but it is becoming increasingly dangerous for us as well.
Plastic and chemical pollution in our oceans puts serious strain on marine ecosystems like coral reefs. These ecosystems and marine habitats are essential for the health of thousands of marine species and if the habitat itself gets affected by our pollutants, all the species that depend on that habitat will also be affected.
By helping to keep our beaches clean, you are essentially helping maintain the health and integrity of marine ecosystems and habitats. In turn, the marine species that depend on those habitats will thrive.
Beaches are not just spaces for recreational activity but are important features of the natural environment that house thousands of marine animals and ecosystems. A clean and beautiful beach not only attracts visitors and tourists, thereby boosting the local economy, but it also helps to maintain the health and integrity of our oceans, marine animals, and marine habitats.
As human activity and pollution continue to affect so much of the natural environment, more and more people must start making efforts to fight back against the damage that has already been done by helping to keep our beaches clean. Both Mother Nature and future generations will surely thank you for it.