~10 tips for Shore Visitor~
- Leave only footprints in the sand. Use trashcans or take trash home (carry in, carry out). Use your beach pail at the end of the day to collect litter. Scoop the poop! Bring a bag to clean up after your pet. After enjoying the beach, organize family and friends for a cleanup, or join volunteers at COA’s Spring and Fall Beach Sweeps.
- Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. Buy only re-usable or recyclable products. Recycling reduces solid waste and saves resources. If your beach does not have recycling bins, take your items home to recycle.
- Litter is lethal to marine life. Avoid bringing disposable plastics to the beach. Plastics do not biodegrade and can kill fish, birds, whales, seals, turtles, and other animals through entanglement and ingestion. If you see an animal entangled, injured or in danger see Tip #9.
- The beach is not an ashtray. Never leave cigarette filters in the sand. They do not biodegrade and are highly toxic to marine animals and mistake them for food.
- Hold the line, never let it go. Keep all fishing line for recycling and send to: Pure Fishing America. 1900 18th St, Spirit Lake, IA 51360-1099. If not possible, cut line into small pieces and put in trash.
- Look, listen, learn. Observe wildlife from a distance and do not frighten or disturb beach critters. Beachcomb for shells, listen for birdcalls, and look for plants. Identify what you find with a field guide.
- Report pollution. If you see unusual beach conditions (garbage slicks, brown or red tides, fish-kills) notify your state. In New Jersey contact the Department of Environmental Protection by calling 877-WARN-DEP and contact COA.
- Carpool, walk, or bike to the beach. Cars are a leading source of air and water pollution. Turn off your car if idling for more than 30 seconds; this will conserve fuel, save money, and reduce pollution.
- Watch what you’re dune. Dunes and grasses protect inland areas from wind and wave action and help preserve the shore. Dunes provide habitat for birds and animals. If you see an animal entangled, injured or in danger, contact a lifeguard, wildlife rehabilitator, or the Marine Mammal Stranding Center (609-266-0538).
- Green Boating. Watercrafts should not be operated in shallow areas. Operate in deeper water where you are less likely to disturb habitats. Obey “fragile area” and “slow no wake” signs. Never discharge debris overboard. Use pump-out facilities.
~10 Tips for Daily Living~
- Reduce, reuse and recycle. Avoid using disposable items such as plastic straws, bags, cups, water bottles, and utensils. Use reusable items. Recycle as much as possible.
- Conserve the drops. To save water. On average, each American uses between 80-100 gallons of water daily. Turn off the water while brushing your teeth, take shorter showers, use low-flow faucets and showerheads. Turn washing machine “load size” down a notch and choose a car wash that recycles water.
- Flip the switch to save energy. Turn off your lights and appliances when not in use. Unplug your phone chargers and appliances, which use energy even when they are not in use.
- Don’t be idle. Turn off your car when idling for more than 30 seconds. This will conserve fuel, save money, and reduce pollution. Use your best judgment when sitting in traffic.
- Swap bulbs and replace inefficient items in your home. Replace incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFL) or light-emitting diodes (LED). Check earth911.org for more info and safe CFL disposal options. Buy “Energy Star” appliances.
- Personal Care products such as shampoo, deodorant, cosmetics, perfume, chap stick/lip sticks, and lotions contain many chemicals that can be hazardous to the environment when they enter the watershed. Use products that are based on plant oils, colors derived from natural preservatives such as titanium dioxide, and fragrance from essential oils and natural preservatives such as Vitamin C and E. Avoid soaps and lotions that contain microbeads and triclosan.
- Shop wisely. Purchase environmentally responsible products, such as those made from recycled materials, non-toxic cleaners, and products with minimal packaging. Purchase bleach-free toilet paper made with post-consumer recycled materials. Write manufacturers and retailers to applaud or condemn them or their environmentalism.
- Stash the trash Never litter. If away from home, bring garbage/ recyclables home for proper disposal. Make sure outdoor trash cans are securely converted so trash doesn’t blow away.
- Get involved. Attend town meetings and discuss your concerns with your local elected officials. Write to your elected officials about your environmental concerns. Join an environmental organization.
- Spread the word and educate family, friends, neighbors and co-workers about how they can improve daily habits to protect our environment. Together, we are the solution.
Our Habitat is Down the Drain!
Nonpoint source or pointless pollution is the #1 cause of coastal water pollution. This pollution has many sources, including the stormwater runoff that carries litter, pet waste, fertilizers, pesticides, soil, and waste from leaky sewage systems into waterways. Every time it rains polluted stormwater travels to the nearest storm drain or waterbody that ultimately drains to the ocean. Though people and their everyday habits are often the source of pollution, we can easily become the solution. By making small changes we can make our ocean fishable, swimmable, and healthy.
For more information visit:Clean Ocean Action 18 Hartshorne Drive, Suite 2 Highlands, NJ 07732 (732) 872-0111 www.cleanoceanaction.org