Who doesn’t love the beach? The sound of crashing waves, the smell of salt and sand, the sight of . . . broken bottles and scattered trash?
Our beaches may be beautiful, but they won’t stay that way if we don’t do our part to clean up after our less-thoughtful neighbors. Here are three ways that we can all help to keep these places clean and beautiful.
Join a cleanup.
The most obvious solution is to roll up your sleeves and get your hands dirty. Under normal circumstances, the Surfrider Foundation’s Newport Beach chapter holds regular beach cleanups the first Saturday of every month. These may be on hold for the moment, but you can still head to the beach with your family or small group of friends and conduct your own socially distanced beach cleanup session. Be sure to remember the new mask mandate while you’re out.
Pack it in, pack it out.
This directive isn’t unique to hikers in the mountains; it should carry all the way to the beach as well. When you leave the beach, everything you brought with you should leave with you as well. Make sure you know where the public waste receptacles are and make use of them.
A good beach bonfire may not be feasible for a while, but be ready with proper fire protocol for when it is. For example, don’t burn wood with nails in it, since the leftover nails can be dangerous. Fight the urge to toss your trash on the flames, as burning trash doesn’t fully destroy it. Trash releases soot and ash particles that can impact local plants and animals, and the air pollutants caused by trash are hard on our lungs. When you’re done with your fire, bury the ashes to make sure everything gets snuffed out, and return any firepit rocks back to their original locations.
Our beaches are easy to love, and taking care of them isn’t much harder. Do your part to keep them awesome by joining a local beach clean up, being mindful of what you bring to the beach, and enjoying your bonfires responsibly.