Everybody loves going to the beach! Unfortunately, this leads to a lot of trash being left on the beaches. Not only does it make the beaches less pleasant, but that trash ends up contaminating the world’s oceans. That’s why July has been designated Clean Beaches Month. This month is meant to bring awareness to the damage beach litter can cause. By spreading awareness, people will (hopefully) make more of an effort to avoid littering and promoting clean beaches.
Clean Beaches: How Littering Affects Our Environment
The trash left on the beach is a danger to the environment in many ways. Wildlife can become entangled in trash or will mistake it for food. Many birds and sea creatures will choke on the trash they try to consume; if they don’t choke to death, the trash won’t properly digest, causing all kinds of health issues that can lead to death.
There’s also the impact trash can have on the water itself. A lot of trash will not decompose for thousands of years and contribute to the destruction of the world’s eco-friendly coral reefs.
Ways to Keep Beaches Clean
Many states have begun organizing regular beach clean-ups. These clean-ups bring communities together to gather trash that’s been left on their beaches.
The first recognized beach clean-up was in 1984; it was organized by the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife. It’s estimated around 2,100 volunteers removed over 26 tons of trash during this event. Since then, almost 230 million pounds of trash has been collected on beaches worldwide in an attempt to protect the ocean and its wildlife.
You can help keep the beaches clean:
- Find out if your community has a beach clean-up day planned.
- Organize your own beach clean-up day event.
- Pick up your trash at the beach and encourage friends and family to do the same.
- When visiting the beach, pick up others’ trash.