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Your Guide to an Eco-Friendly Beach Day

Everything you need to know so your family can have sustainable fun in the sun.

Enjoy Summer and Learn

Summer is the perfect time to relax and have fun, but it doesn’t mean learning has to stop. At Surf Skate Science, we believe in teaching our children to be good stewards of our environment, even during their beach adventures. Here’s how your family can have an eco-friendly summer and environmentally-friendly beach days while learning about the local ecosystem.

(Photo: Gaby Ojeda )

Did you know that July Is Park and Recreation Month?

July is many things to many people – hot weather, the height of summer break, and a time for vacations. To the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA), July is Park and Recreation Month, a tradition launched in 1985. Both the Florida Recreation and Park Association and Broward County Parks have long supported the initiative by reminding people of the benefits of parks and recreation. So get outside and enjoy.

Here are a few FUN Outdoor Events to do as a family

Everglades Explorers Monthly Survey

  • When: Every Second Friday, Jul 12-Sep 14, 10 AM-Noon (Next July 12)

  • Where: Everglades Holiday Park

  • Fee: $5/person. Preregistration is required by the day before the event at WebTrac Registration

  • Phone: 954-357-8868, 954-357-8674

  • Ages: For all ages

  • Description: Participants in this program will learn different scientific survey methods and see how scientists use this information to monitor Everglades habitat. They’ll survey the plants and animals and conduct scientific water-quality tests to monitor changes and draw conclusions about how this affects the ecosystem. Preregistration is required by the day before the program. Drinking water, insect repellent, and sunscreen are recommended.

Island Water Sports's Free Surf Lessons - Every Saturday

  • Time: 7:00 AM to 9:00 AM

  • Provider: Island Water Sports

  • Description: The best-kept secret in South Florida, Island Water Sports has been providing free surf lessons in Deerfield Beach every Saturday morning for the past 30 years. This program is entirely FREE for all ages and levels. Knowing how to swim is a requirement. We provide the equipment, but you can bring your own. Register at Island Water Sports

(Photo: Ady & Co)

Enjoy the Beach While Giving Back with the City of Fort Lauderdale Beach Sweep

  • When: Saturday, July 13, 2024, 8:00 AM - 10:00 AM

  • Where: The HUB, 300 S. Fort Lauderdale Beach Blvd

  • Volunteer Limit: 75 Spots Remaining: 24

  • Opportunity Leader: Jorg Hruschka

  • Register at: Hands on Broward

  • Description: Help maintain our pristine beaches by joining the Beach Sweep team. Volunteers typically collect 100 pounds of trash, 25 pounds of recyclables, and 10,000 cigarette butts. Proper attire is a t-shirt and pants—things you do not mind getting dirty. Don’t forget your mask and any other PPE you might want to use. Due to the outdoor activity, it is recommended all volunteers wear a hat, sunscreen, and insect repellent, plus bring their own water and snacks. Stay hydrated! All tools will be provided, but feel free to bring your own gloves and protective equipment.

(Photo: Gaby Ojeda )

Learn About and Search for Nesting Sea Turtles

  • When: Programs offered on Tuesday and Friday nights from 9:00 PM to 11:30 PM

  • Where: Dr. Von D. Mizell-Eula Johnson State Park, Osprey Pavilion, Parking Lot 4, 6503 North Ocean Dr, Dania Beach, FL 33004

  • Contact: or 954-924-3859 (M-F, 8 am to 2:30 pm)

  • Description: Join park naturalists to learn about and search for nesting sea turtles. The program begins with a 20-minute DVD presentation called "Sea Turtles - Saga or Eulogy," followed by a Q&A session. Then, participants walk along the shoreline to see if they can find a sea turtle. The program includes display items like turtle shells, baby turtles, turtle skulls, posters, and various handouts about turtles. Group limited to 25 individuals, children under 6 years of age not permitted. Advance registration is required.

Other places to join a turtle walk:

  • Canaveral National Seashore: Reservations for June begin May 15.

  • Archie Carr National Wildlife Refuge: Florida's best loggerhead nesting beach.

  • Sea Turtle Conservancy: Takes the turtle walk reservations for Archie Carr and operates the Barrier Island Center within the refuge.

  • Sea Turtle Preservation Society: Holds turtle walks in Melbourne and Satellite Beach.

  • Sebastian Inlet State Park: Consider spending the night at the campground.

  • Florida Power & Light: Held on Hutchinson Island near the St. Lucie nuclear power plant.

  • John D. MacArthur Beach State Park: Located in North Palm Beach.

  • Loggerhead Marinelife Center at Juno Beach: Reserve a turtle walk online.

  • Hobe Sound Nature Center: Walks are conducted on the Hobe Sound public beach.

  • Gumbo Limbo Nature Center: Located in Boca Raton, the center offers turtle walks and the opportunity to watch hatchlings released.

(Photo by Photosomething)

Beach Day? Before You Hit the Beach

Screen Your Sunscreen: Choose reef-safe sunscreens free from harmful chemicals like oxybenzone and octinoxate. These ingredients can harm marine life, including corals, sea turtles, and dolphins. Alternatively, consider UV-blocking clothing to reduce sunscreen use.

(Photo by Kindel Media)

Say Goodbye to Single-Use Plastics: Avoid single-use plastics by bringing reusable water bottles and snacks in reusable containers. Plastic straws and bags can easily become litter, so opt for sustainable alternatives. Remember, the beach is not a trash can!

On the Sand

Tread Carefully: Sand dunes protect coastlines from erosion and storms. Follow signs and use boardwalks to avoid disturbing these fragile habitats. Avoid walking on dune slopes or plants growing in the sand.

Admire Beach Debris: The beach food chain starts with clumps of algae and seagrass, known as wrack. These are essential for invertebrates and shorebirds. Use it as a learning opportunity to observe the organisms living in the wrack.

(Photo: Gaby Ojeda )

Give Animals Space: Observe wildlife from a distance to avoid disturbing their natural behavior. Feeding animals can be harmful, so keep snacks to yourselves. Use binoculars or cameras to watch animals without getting too close.

Leave Shells Behind: Rather than taking seashells home, take pictures and discuss their importance in the ecosystem. Shells provide homes for hermit crabs, protection for fish, and help reduce shoreline erosion.

Use Eco-Friendly Apps: Turn beach visits into learning experiences with apps like CoastSnap and Clean Swell. CoastSnap helps scientists study coastal changes, and Clean Swell tracks beach litter.

Discuss Climate: Talk about the tides and observe any signs of storms or coastal erosion. Seeing the impacts of climate firsthand can inspire action and awareness.

Avoid Disturbing Wildlife: When exploring the beach, be mindful of nests and wildlife habitats.

(Photo: City of Deerfield BEach)

Before Heading Home

Smooth the Sand: Fill in holes and knock down sandcastles before leaving. This helps protect other beachgoers and sea turtle hatchlings.

Pack Up Everything: Take all your belongings and any trash with you. Leave the beach cleaner than you found it.

Pick Up Your Trash Plus 5 Additional Pieces of Garbage: Leave the beach better than it was when you arrived. Do not forget to take your trash and grab a few extra pieces of trash left behind to help keep our beaches clean.

(Photo: Gaby Ojeda )

Enjoy and Protect Our Beaches

Teaching our children to respect and protect the environment can be a fun and educational part of your beach day. Enjoy the sun, sand, and surf while fostering a love for nature and responsibility for its preservation. Happy eco-friendly beach day!

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