TAKING CARE OF OUR
OCEANS AND BEACHES
Protecting the oceans is an undertaking of Titanic proportion: oceanic waters cover 72% of the Earth's surface and harbor an abundance of the world's animals and plants. To draw attention to the need to restore the ocean's fisheries, safeguard seabirds and other marine animals, and conserve our coasts, the following are some ways you can help protect our oceans and beaches this summer.
What You Can Do:
Keep it clean. Support measures to stop dumping of sludge and sewage into harbors, rivers, and streams.
Keep it safe. Endorse creation of marine reserves to protect fish and other marine life.
Don't touch. When snorkeling or scuba diving, take particular care to look at but not stand on or even touch coral reefs.
Stash your trash. Pick up litter, stow plastic bags, reel in fishing line, and avoid six-pack rings.
Prevent pollution. Don't dump motor oil, pesticides, or other toxic chemicals into streets, onto the ground, down storm drains, or anywhere else where they can eventually find their way to the ocean
Do your part. Participate in local beach clean-up campaigns.
HELP CLEAN UP THE BEACH!
These simple steps-appropriate for rivers, lakes, streams, or oceanfronts - will help you organize a beach cleanup in your community.
Choose a good day. Some cleanups occur during national "coastweeks" in early fall, others occur in spring or during periods of low tide. Chose a day, probably on a weekend or holiday, when you can attract maximum participation.
Get some help. Organize a steering committee or task force to help you plan the event, recruit volunteers, get permits and supplies, and oversee the actual event.
Select your site. Consider how accessible and safe the site is for volunteers as well as the kind of impact you can have cleaning up that site as opposed to another.
Recruit volunteers. Approach local civic organizations, SCUBA diving groups, boating clubs, environmental organizations, and youth groups.
Divide the site into "zones" and assign a "captain" for each zone. Each captain will oversee volunteer efforts in that zone and make sure the zone gets thoroughly cleaned up.
Publicize the event. Distribute eye-catching posters, leaflets, and fliers; ask local radio stations to sponsor; and get newspapers to write stories, both before the event and once you have results to report.
Collect data. Use a checklist to record information such as the total number of volunteers who participated, the number of miles cleaned, the number of trash bags filled and what they weighed, the total amount (in pounds or tons) of trash collected, and the number and kinds of stranded animals reported.
For more information on organizing a coastal cleanup, contact the Center for Marine Conservation, 1725 DeSales Street, NW, Washington, DC 20036; (202) 429-5609.
DID YOU KNOW?|
According to the federal National Research Council:
As many as 8.8 million tons of oil enter the ocean each year as a result of human activity.
At any given time, the ocean contains 280,000 tons of tar balls.
Each year, as much as 27 million tons of fish are unnecessarily caught-then thrown overboard because they are too small, the wrong species, of inferior quality or simply not needed.
The U.S. could lose 10,000 square miles of coastal property due to sea level rise associated with global warming and climate change.
. Earth Share, a federation of America's leading non-profit
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