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Yield to Wildlife on Your Summer Beach Trip
Spring and summer beach season is upon us! As you plan your vacation, keep these tips in mind to share the beach with nesting birds, sea turtles, seals, sea stars and an abundance of other wildlife.
Give Wildlife Space
As with other wild animals you encounter, observe from a distance and give them space to be wild. Fight the urge to help a sea turtle hatchling toward the sea, cuddle a seal or pick up a sea star.
Most sensitive wildlife areas are fenced or have signs posted. Respect those signs and pay extra attention. You may even want to find a different part of the beach to set-up.
Don’t Be Trashy
Hopefully you already pick-up your litter when you leave the beach, but it’s especially important near nesting sites. Garbage attracts predators, putting eggs and chicks in danger. The trash itself is also harmful to wildlife. Have a plan to dispose of trash and recyclables.
Play with Caution
I can’t sit still at the beach for long, I have to play games — frisbee, soccer, biking, volleyball, or bocce ball. These games can easily disrupt nesting sites if we’re not careful. Try to take recreational activities to a safe place that won’t disrupt wildlife.
Responsible Sea Shell Collecting
Shells play a critical role in coastal ecosystems, and sometimes still have living organisms inside. Each beach has its own set of regulations regarding sea shell collecting. If you’re unsure, it’s probably best to leave the shells for other beach goers to enjoy.
Keep Dogs on a Leash
This goes for any other pets you may bring to the beach. Be mindful and keep an eye on your pets. We don’t want them accidentally digging up sea turtle or bird eggs!
Respect Animals in Water
What if a manatee swims up to you and gives you a fin hug? It might be the most adorable thing in the world, but it’s not a healthy situation long-term. We don’t want wildlife getting used to human interaction. Give them the space to be wild and please don’t touch!
Explore Tide Pools
As an Oregonian, exploring tide pools was a huge part of my childhood. It’s still a fun part of my Oregon coast trips. These ecosystems are very sensitive, and require a certain etiquette from visitors. Reminders like, “if you pry, it will die” and “keep it low and let it go,” might be good to review before you go tide pooling.
Slow, Slow, Slow Your Boat
Collisions with wildlife are not isolated to the cars. When driving your boat, pay attention and slow down for aquatic wildlife. The animals under your boat will appreciate it.
Whether rocky coasts or white sands, beaches offer activities for everyone. Camping, fishing, swimming, sand castles, tide pools, whale watching, snorkeling, building forts or bonfires. Get outside and experience all the beach has to offer!
See how much good you can do for wildlife when you pledge to camp out this summer as part of our Great American Campout!