Featured Image Credit: Katonams via Wikimedia
By Sarah Sharkey
Of course, we all want to head straight to the beach! Soaking up sun, swimming in the ocean and long walks on the beach are just a few of the highlights of an amazing spring break. While enjoying the beach, we have to remember that the beach and waters we are enjoying are a habitat for some special sea creatures. Here are some simple do’s and don’ts to make sure that ocean stays safe for the creatures that live there and the beach stays beautiful for next year!
1. Don’t litter
This one seems obvious, but it is extremely important to not leave any trash on the beach. Not only does it affect the beach habitat, but also makes its way into the ocean. More trash in the ocean is something that should be avoided. So make sure to take all of your trash with you when you leave the beach.
2. Do take pictures
If you are lucky enough to spot some cool wildlife, definitely snap some pictures. Some beaches have land animals such as horses that are fun to see. Other beaches have smaller fauna such as birds, raccoons or turtles. It is always fun to see any type of wildlife, but it is important to remember that you are in their home and should maintain a respectful distance while photographing the animals.
3. Don’t touch the animals
Again, this may seem obvious but please do not touch any animals that you encounter. If you are lucky enough to see an amazing animal, respect its space. This will ensure that the animal does not feel threatened in his own home and that you do not get injured by the wild animal. Most animals have no desire to harm you, but if you touch the animal it may become aggressive because it feels unsafe.
4. Do leave footprints
Go for a long walk on the beach! Enjoy the breeze and take in the sights. It is always nice to stroll down the beach, but it also increased your chances of seeing something really interesting because you are covering more ground. You could find a washed up boat, a unique shell or maybe even wildlife.
5. Do check the lifeguard flags
Before hopping into the water, make sure to check the flag at the lifeguard stand. If you aren’t sure what a flag color means, do not be afraid to ask the lifeguard. Once you know what the conditions are, it is easier to make the decision to get in the water or not. For example if it is a red flag, it might be better to just stay on the shore.