Tips to Make Sure Your Next Trip Doesn’t Cause Any Harm.
There’s something special about visiting the pristine beaches of the Virgin Islands. Swimming in the bright blue waters of the ocean is a fantastic way to pass an afternoon. Of course, like any beautiful environment, it’s important to make sure your actions aren’t harming the plants and animals that call the beach their home.
Here are a few tips to help make sure your next trip to the beach doesn’t cause any harm.
Don’t Disturb the Animals
You might not see a lot of animals at the beach, but in the case that you do come across one of the ocean’s creatures during your stay, it’s important not to disturb them. Tide pools can be a wonderful place to spot sea life, and sometimes you may even encounter sea turtles and other marvels of the ocean while swimming.
It’s much more common to see seagulls and other birds patrolling the beach for likely morsels.
However, regardless of what animals you encounter, it’s important not to disturb them. Not only can wild animals be unpredictable, but your actions could also have unintended consequences.
For instance, feeding beach animals teach them not to fear humans, which can cause problems for both animals and other beachgoers. More importantly, regular feeding from humans can cause animals not to migrate or follow other important seasonal habits in favor of staying near easy food.
That’s a big problem since you aren’t giving the animals a good balance of the nutrition they need when you feed them. They’ll likely get plenty of food, but it won’t give them nourishment. Birds, fish, and all animal life can develop severe malnutrition disorders if they are fed too much by humans.
Try not to move, feed, or otherwise disturb the local wildlife. Listen to all posted warnings about necessary precautions on the beach, and make sure you’re not causing unintended harm.
Take Everything You Bring Home with You
Beaches often need near-constant cleanup thanks to their many visitors every day. It’s important to remember that you need to take everything you bring home with you. Several of the beaches on the Virgin Islands do not have vendors, like Oppenheimer Beach, which means that you’ll need to bring all your food and refreshments with you.
That means you’re likely to have a good bit of trash at the end of your visit to the beach. Make sure you’re packing all of that trash away when you leave.
It’s also important to make sure you take all of your beach furniture, like chairs umbrellas, and towels away with you as well. Furniture and trash can create an obstacle course of the beach for animals who need to navigate to and from the ocean.
Remember that plastic doesn’t break down and that there is already too much plastic polluting the oceans. Any trash or furniture left on the beach is likely to end up in the ocean, where it can cause even more problems for marine ecosystems and beach and island birds.
Avoid Using Harmful Sunscreen
Sunscreen is a must for many beachgoers, but it can be incredibly harmful when it dissolves in the water of the ocean. Fortunately, there are a few less harmful preparations available that don’t cause damage to ocean ecosystems.
If you’re looking for a more ocean-friendly sunscreen, look for a sunscreen that’s been made with zinc or titanium to help block the UV.
If those kinds of sunscreen aren’t available, you can still help minimize any risk to the ocean. Try applying your sunscreen at least 1 hour before swimming, which gives the lotion time to soak into your skin, so it won’t dissolve into the ocean.
Alternatively, you can often look up low UV hours for each beach. Going during low UV hours can help prevent sunburns without any need for sunscreen at all!
Don’t Take Vehicles onto The Beach
One last thing you should remember before you go out onto the beach. Try not to take any vehicles, including non-motorized vehicles like a bicycle, onto the sand. The tires can accidentally crush burrows hidden underneath the sand.
This is especially important for any beaches that are known to have sea turtle eggs since the eggs are easily crushed by vehicle tires.
If you follow these steps carefully, you’ll be able to both enjoy the wonders of the Virgin Island beaches and protect the environmental wonders found there for future generations to enjoy. Being careful on the beaches is simple, but it can have a huge impact on the environments around you.
This article was originally posted at Sonic Charters.