What Goes Up…

I hope everyone had a safe and happy 4th of July! While we all look forward to holiday BBQs, beach days, and colorful fireworks displays, the inevitable truth is that all of these celebrations tend to leave trash behind. This is especially important on Independence Day as it falls at the height of sea turtle nesting season on our densely nested beaches.

This morning, we gathered a group of volunteers to do some damage control and learn a bit more about the types of debris we could find.

In less than one hour, on less than a one-mile stretch of beach, we collected:

  • 150 fireworks
  • 142 plastic bags
  • 141 cigarette butts
  • 126 food wrappers
  • 14 glass bottles, 11 plastic bottles, 45 plastic bottle caps
  • and many other items

As we walked along the beach, others saw what we were doing and picked up pieces of trash to add to our bags. For me, that is always the most inspiring part. We can all celebrate together, but it is also our responsibility to protect our nation’s species and spaces – together.

We hope tonight, the beach is a bit better suited for the female turtles who will lay their nests, the hatchlings who will take their first swim in the sea, and all other animals with whom we share our home.

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