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2 11, 2016

Keeping our beaches healthy for the future

By |November 2nd, 2016|Blog|0 Comments

In Alabama, we’re pretty lucky. Visitors go to our local beaches expecting – and finding – beautiful and clean surroundings.

That’s not how it is in all beach locations in the U.S. In 2013, for example, America’s beaches experienced more than 20,000 closing and advisory days for the third consecutive year because of polluted water or threatened contamination, according to the beach water quality report by the Natural Resources Defense Council.

Fortunately for us, Alabama’s beaches top the list of “superstar” beaches, […]

26 10, 2016

Saying Goodbye to the Sea Turtles

By |October 26th, 2016|Blog|0 Comments

More sea turtle hatchlings have made it to the relative safety of the Gulf of Mexico from our beaches than in years past, according to Mike Reynolds, turtle czar for Share the Beach, the Alabama sea turtle conservation program.

As of September, approximately 14,000 sea turtle hatchlings had emerged from nests along the Alabama Gulf Coast, but Reynolds reminds us the season is not over yet. “Higher numbers are being reported all along the northern Gulf Coast, from here to Panama […]

21 10, 2016

Facts about Ocean Trash

By |October 21st, 2016|Blog|0 Comments

Creating trash-free seas is becoming more challenging each year because of the steady stream of plastic flowing into the world’s oceans. In 2015, the journal Science estimated between 5 and 14 million tons of plastic annually are found in the ocean.

Stemming the tide of plastic flowing into the ocean is a necessity for the more than 2.6 billion people who rely on the ocean as a primary source of protein.

Leave Only Footprints, the initiative adopted by Gulf Shores and Orange […]

12 10, 2016

Keeping the coasts clean for the next generation

By |October 12th, 2016|Blog|0 Comments

What are your memories of visiting the Alabama Gulf Coast? Walking past sand dunes that rose over your head before finally hitting the Gulf of Mexico? A blue-green gulf so clear you could see your toes in waist-deep water?

Yes, indeed. We have a beautiful paradise that stretches along 32 miles of white-sand beach. And we want to keep it that way.

Those memories you have of beautiful beach vacations should be experienced by your kids and grandkids. Leave Only Footprints is […]

5 10, 2016

Tips for Teaching Toddlers Beach Conservancy

By |October 5th, 2016|Blog|0 Comments

Want to teach your toddler beach conservancy? Take him or her to the beach! Toddlers learn best through firsthand experience.

On your trip to the beach, first explain to your toddler the various creatures that live on the beach and in the water and depend on a healthy ecosystem for their lives. Together, search for the holes dug by burrowing crabs.

Point out the sea oats and explain how this native plant anchors the sand so that we are protected during big […]

28 09, 2016

Safely picking up beach trash

By |September 28th, 2016|Blog|0 Comments

Comfortable shoes and sunscreen. Those are two of the items volunteers used to create a trash-free Alabama Gulf Coast. Hats, gloves, water and trash bags are also items that came in handy when cleaning the beach.

The Alabama Coastal Cleanup, held in conjunction with the International Coastal Cleanup, was Sept. 17, 2016. In Baldwin County that day, volunteers were asked to help collect trash and debris toward the goal of creating a healthy coastline and ocean.

In its 28-year history, the Alabama Coastal […]

14 09, 2016

Teaching kids about marine debris

By |September 14th, 2016|Blog|0 Comments

Marine debris: objects that do not occur naturally in oceans, salt marshes, estuaries and beaches.

The top debris items include objects you may have seen on the beach, such as
•    Cigarette filters
•    Food wrappers
•    Containers, caps and lids
•    Cups, plates and utensils
•    Beverage bottles
•    Plastic bags
•    Glass bottles
•    Beverage cans
•    Straws/stirrers
•    Rope

Leave Only Footprints, the new initiative adopted by both Gulf Shores and Orange Beach, seeks to reduce the amount of trash left on the shore. Beach visitors are asked to […]

24 08, 2016

Sea Turtle 101

By |August 24th, 2016|Blog|0 Comments

Sea Turtle Season is upon us and there are 127 nests so far, according to Mike Reynolds, turtle czar of Share the Beach, which focuses on all things sea turtle in Alabama. From May 1 to Oct. 31 each year, loggerhead, green and Kemp’s ridley sea turtles return to the place they were hatched to lay turtle eggs.

Share the Beach, a volunteer group formed by the Friends of the Bon Secour Wildlife Refuge in Gulf Shores, patrols the beaches, educates […]

17 08, 2016

Know Your Limits: Swim, Surf and Boat Safety

By |August 17th, 2016|Blog|0 Comments

Make your beach day one for the photo books by following safe practices for swimming, surfing and boating.

A dip in the Gulf of Mexico is the order of the day for most visitors. The call of the warm waves is too tempting to resist, but swimmers should know the flag colors before getting in the water. Most beach towns along the Gulf Coast, including Gulf Shores and Orange Beach, use the same warning flag system to give visitors a heads-up […]

10 08, 2016

Leave No Trace on Your Next Beach Trip

By |August 10th, 2016|Blog|0 Comments

Leave Only Footprints, the initiative that aims to keep the beaches in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach healthy and beautiful, is similar to the principles of Leave No Trace. This program created by the U.S. Forest Service emphasizes wilderness ethics and sustainable travel.

The principles of Leave No Trace include:

Plan ahead and prepare.
Travel and camp on durable surfaces.
Dispose of waste properly.
Leave what you find.
Minimize campfire impacts.
Respect wildlife.
Be respectful of other visitors.

Leave Only Footprints requires […]