Salt water or fresh water regardless, the summer heat has people from all over Ireland heading to the nearest beach. So whether you’re ready to paddle , snorkel with the fish, or even just picnic on the beach these five tips can help you keep it beautiful.
1. Preparation for Water Recreation- Is there access to beach you’re going to? Does the beach have a special parking lot for boaters? Are there regulations on fishing? Are their Riptides? Has your equipment been cleaned to prevent spread of invasive species. Know the area your visiting and check with the local lifeguards for any special considerations (jellyfish, weaverfish). When packing don’t forget sunscreen, water, snacks, sunglasses, a hat, towel, lifejacket, a first aid kit, and anything you might need for your chosen activity.
2. Shoes in the Sand, Give Rubbish a Hand- We were really surprised to see so many people walking the beach with shoes on. When we inquired we received two response: one, the sand can be hot! Two, people were concerned about broken glass left behind in the sand. This can be avoided by bring cans or a reusable container instead. Also consider repackaging your snacks before you arrive to cut down on the amount of rubbish you’ll have to carry out. Before you head home for the day check around you for any rubbish you might have missed. Especially hard to see items like fishing line, which can hang around for up to 600 years!
3. Underwater Treasure- Snorkelers, paddlers, beach goers and swimmers have all experienced finding something incredible underwater or at the beach whether it be a unique seashell, starfish or a giant spider crab. Chances are, when finding something that sparks awe within us, it will also spark wonder in others. For that reason we want to leave what we find so that others may also experience the joy of finding something wonderful. Some great alternatives are to take an underwater camera to capture underwater treasure.
4. Wild Things! – Water is essential for all living things. This means you might encounter anything from a mosquito, to a bird, or even a bear while enjoying the water. Help keep wildlife and yourself safe by never feeding wildlife. Even ducks and fish, it may seem harmless, but feeding these critters teaches them that humans mean food. This unhealthy habit is detrimental to the well being of animals as human food is not part of their natural diet and they lose their natural instinct to keep a safe distance from humans. Keeping your food sealed in a cooler, hung from a tree, or locked in a car can help keep animals from grabbing a snack when you’re not looking.
5. Furry Friends – Dogs, like their human companions love the water and most dog owners enjoy taking their pets for a trip to the beach. Make sure the beach you’re going to visit is dog friendly. Keep your pet and wildlife safe by not allowing your pet to chase wildlife and always clean up after your pet uses the bathroom. Lastly, if your pet needs a toy consider toys that float to avoid losing and leaving any behind!
There’s still plenty of time to get out and enjoy a refreshing body of water near you this summer. Keep these tips in mind to help you enjoy the beach and leave it just as beautiful for the next visitors.
Enjoy the water!
Leave No Trace Ireland