National Beach Day: It’s not all about fun in the sun

Started in 2014, it’s meant to raise awareness of the beauty of our beaches

Sunrise in Daytona Beach. (Photo: Jacob Langston) (Copyright 2022 by WKMG ClickOrlando - All rights reserved.)

ORLANDO, Fla. – Aug. 30 is National Beach Day and Central Floridians live in a prime spot to take advantage of this toes-in-the-sand holiday.

Flip a coin and pick a coast – Cocoa Beach and Daytona Beach are only about an hour away from Orlando while St. Pete Beach and Clearwater Beach are just about two hours away.

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Started in 2014, this day of sun celebration isn’t all about relaxation though – it’s meant to make sure this natural resource is kept clean for future generations to enjoy.

This holiday’s focus is to make sure we leave nothing behind in order to keep our coastal animals from ingesting or getting tangled in trash - on the land or in the water.

Make sure to pick up any trash that you leave behind or better yet, leave the beach cleaner than you found it. Bring an extra bag and fill it with debris you find while walking the beach. Pardon the idiom, but kill two birds with one stone (please don’t actually kill any birds). Get your steps in and keep the beaches clean.

But first, a quick history lesson, then you’ll learn how you can help keep our beaches and wildlife clean:

National Beach Day Timeline:

  • 1948: The Clean Water Act was established to set water quality and pollution standards for U.S. waterways, which include its beaches.
  • 1972: The Coastal Zone Management Act - This act aims to “preserve, protect, develop, and where possible, to restore or enhance the resources of the nation’s coastal zone.”
  • 2000: The BEACH Act requires the Environmental Protection Agency to “develop performance criteria for testing, monitoring, and notifying public users of possible coastal recreation water problems.”

Here are some organizations that are dedicated to keeping our beaches and oceans clean:

  • Surfrider Foundation: A grassroots nonprofit organization working to protect and preserve the world’s oceans by focusing on water quality, coastal ecosystems, beach access, beach and surf spot preservation. There are also local chapters of the Surfrider Foundation that you can join and participate in. For Central Florida, we have the Space Coast Chapter, the Orlando Chapter and the Volusia and Flagler chapter of the Surfrider Foundation. The rest of Florida’s chapter’s can be found here.
  • Oceana: The largest international ocean conservation organization that works to protect and restore the world’s oceans through targeted policy campaigns.
  • 5 Gyres: A nonprofit organization dedicated to understanding plastic marine pollution that works towards oceans free of plastic.
  • Take 3: An initiative to encourage people to leave the world’s beaches and oceans cleaner than when they found them.
  • Ocean Conservancy: Working to protect the ocean from today’s greatest challenges. Creating evidence-based solutions for a healthy ocean and the wildlife and communities that depend on it.
  • Coral Reef Alliance: Working at local, regional and global levels to keep coral reefs healthy, so they can adapt to climate change and survive for generations to come.
  • The Nature Conservancy: To conserve the lands and waters on which all life depends.
  • Oceanic Preservation Society: OPS uses the art of storytelling to scale positive change around the most critical issues facing our plane.

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About the Author:

Jacob joined in 2022. He spent 19 years at the Orlando Sentinel, mostly as a photojournalist and video journalist, before joining Spectrum News 13 as a web editor and digital journalist in 2021.