To ensure the beaches you love to visit remain healthy, it’s important to be conscious of planet-friendly beach etiquette. Follow the steps below when planning your next beach day!

Level the Sand

Disturbances in the sand can be harmful to wildlife like baby sea turtles who can get stuck trying to get to the ocean. Always remember to level out any sandcastles and fill in any holes before leaving your area.

Use Reef Safe Sunscreen

Many sunscreens can be extremely damaging to natural environments, especially coral reefs, because they contain Oxybenzone and Octinoxate. Seek out sunscreen without these chemicals. A recommended alternative is zinc-based sunscreen.

Leave No Trace

A good explorer always leaves a place cleaner than when they found it! Don’t forget to throw away any trash you have, and consider picking up other litter you see as well. Some beaches don’t have easily accessible garbage cans, so reuse an old plastic or reusable bag to gather your trash if needed.

Read Signs & Rules

Many beaches have signs warning you to stay off of sand dunes, and it’s not just to ruin your fun. Sand dunes are an important habitat for turtles, crabs, and lots of other wildlife. Always follow the guidelines at your particular beach!

Respect Wildlife

Feeding wild animals can cause them serious health problems, make them lose their natural fear of humans (putting others at risk), and possibly even transmit diseases like rabies. Admire the animals from a safe distance, and never attempt to feed or handle any wildlife. 

Familiarize Yourself with Local Sea Shell Collection Regulations

Seashells are an important part of coastal ecosystems; they provide materials for birds’ nests, a home for crabs, and an attachment surface for algae. The collection of seashells is generally allowed in Florida unless they contain a living organism, but keep in mind that regulations may vary for federal parks, national wildlife refuges, and portions of the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. Be mindful that anything taken from a natural area has environmental impacts, but if you decide to collect shells, just be sure to check regulations and stay within the allowed amount at your particular beach. Visit the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission website for more info.

Skip the Products

The water from outdoor showers usually runs off unfiltered into the beach and ocean, which means the chemicals in soaps and shampoos can harm local marine life. Use outdoor showers for a simple rinse-off, and save the products for home where the water will be correctly processed. 

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