10 Ocean Friendly Resolutions

10 Ocean-Friendly Resolutions To Keep In 2012
Heal the Bay offers New Year's tips for keeping local beaches clean and healthy

SANTA MONICA, CA (Jan. 9, 2012) – In honor of the New Year, Heal the Bay today issued 10 resolutions that ocean lovers can keep this year to improve the health of our local creeks, rivers, beaches and seas in the coming year. These are easy steps that citizens can take daily in their homes and businesses to protect what they love.

1. Keep your trash out of the gutter. Whatever debris is dumped onto city streets and sidewalks will eventually be carried to our beaches and oceans via the storm drain system.

2. Bring a reusable bag to the store. Californians use an estimated 15 billion single-use plastic bags annually. Less than 5% is recycled, meaning the vast majority clogs landfill, chokes our waterways and poses lethal threats to marine life.

3. Volunteer for a beach cleanup. See firsthand the impact that man-made trash has on your local shoreline. Make an immediate difference by removing harmful debris before it reaches the sea.

4. Keep your family healthy at the beach. Download Heal the Bay's mobile Beach Report Card app, which provides A to F water quality grades for more than 500 beaches up and down the Pacific Coast. www.beachreportcard.org

5. Use the car wash. Most car washes recycle their water. If you must clean at home, use a bucket to conserve water and use biodegradable soap.

6. Go easy on the household chemicals. Use pesticides as little as possible. Use compost instead of chemical fertilizers. Drop off harsh chemical products at hazardous drop-off centers instead of pouring down the drain or gutter.

7. Pick up after your pet. Citizens walk a dog without picking up the droppings more than 82,000 times per month in L.A. County alone. The waste carries harmful bacteria that can cause severe health consequences to swimmers when washed to the ocean.

8. Don't be a drip. Turn off your faucet when not needed and fix leaky pipes. Install low-flow showerheads and toilets. Overwatering is wasteful and moves trash and toxins to the sea.

9. Watch your butt. Cigarette butts are the number one item collected at beach cleanups statewide. They are unsightly and contain highly toxic chemicals harmful to humans and animal life. Instead of flicking butts out the car window or leaving them on sidewalks, smokers should dispose of them properly.

10. Reduce your waste. Purchase only what you truly need. Avoid items that are excessively packaged. Buy in bulk whenever possible.

For more information and involvement opportunities, please visit www.healthebay.org

About Heal the Bay
Heal the Bay is a nonprofit environmental organization that makes Southern California coastal waters and watersheds, including Santa Monica Bay, safe, healthy and clean. We use science, education, community action and advocacy to pursue our mission.