Nature and Environment

Because at 160,000 years, the party is just getting started.

Add to My MSN

Protect the Beach

6/11/2014 9:47:00 AM

Tags: environmental stewardship, beaches, Earth Gauge, Washington DC

beach

Are you one of the millions of people making their way to the beach this year?  Beaches provide opportunities to play volleyball, run, relax, swim and do many other activities, but beach closures can put a damper on summer fun. Beach closures occur in coastal areas throughout the United States – according to EPA’s 2012 Beach Report, 40 percent of monitored beaches had at least one advisory or closure during the 2012 season.  Several factors contribute to beach closures, including excess nitrogen and phosphorus nutrient pollution from rain water runoff and leaking septic systems.

Viewer Tip: Whether you live on the beach or thousands of miles away, there are easy ways you can help protect coastal water quality at home.

Keep your septic system maintained. For typical septic systems, experts recommend a professional inspection every three years and a pump-out every three to five years.  Some systems may require more frequent maintenance. Leaking septic systems can contaminate ground and surface water with excess nutrients.
Use natural substances like compost to fertilize your gardens and lawns. 
This allows you to cut-down on the use of regular fertilizers, which contain nitrogen that can be carried away with rain water during the next storm.
Always pick up after your pet at home and on walks.
 Pet waste contains nutrients and bacteria that can degrade water quality. Throw the waste away in a trash can or pet waste receptacle.

Earth Gauge

Photo: St. George Island, FL; Commander Grady Tuell, NOAA Corps

(Sources:  EPA, “EPA’s Beach Report: 2012 Swimming Season.”)



Related Content

Earth Gauge Tip of the Week: Handling Heat Islands

This describes how older individuals can take steps to keep themselves cool on very hot days.

Earthships: The Power of Unconventional Ideas

More than 30 years ago, Michael Reynolds followed his vision of sustainable, energy-efficient homes ...

An Earthship in Manhattan?

Ken Ruck wants to build a fully self-sustaining earthship on New York's Lower East Side.

Court Rules with Navy over Species Protection

Court ruling lifts the ban on sonar testing off the shore of California, much to the chagrin of envi...

Content Tools




Post a comment below.

 










Subscribe Today - Pay Now & Save 66% Off the Cover Price

First Name: *
Last Name: *
Address: *
City: *
State/Province: *
Zip/Postal Code:*
Country:
Email:*
(* indicates a required item)
Canadian subs: 1 year, (includes postage & GST). Foreign subs: 1 year, . U.S. funds.
Canadian Subscribers - Click Here
Non US and Canadian Subscribers - Click Here

Lighten the Strain on the Earth and Your Budget

MOTHER EARTH NEWS is the guide to living — as one reader stated — “with little money and abundant happiness.” Every issue is an invaluable guide to leading a more sustainable life, covering ideas from fighting rising energy costs and protecting the environment to avoiding unnecessary spending on processed food. You’ll find tips for slashing heating bills; growing fresh, natural produce at home; and more. MOTHER EARTH NEWS helps you cut costs without sacrificing modern luxuries.

At MOTHER EARTH NEWS, we are dedicated to conserving our planet’s natural resources while helping you conserve your financial resources. That’s why we want you to save money and trees by subscribing through our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. By paying with a credit card, you save an additional $5 and get 6 issues of MOTHER EARTH NEWS for only $12.00 (USA only).

You may also use the Bill Me option and pay $17.00 for 6 issues.