Ten Things You and Your Family Can Do to Help the Bay
2. Maintain a healthy yard without pesticides and fertilizers that can wash into storm drains and into the ocean. For more information, go to www.yardscaping.org.
3. Conserve water. Take shorter showers, and turn off the faucet while brushing your teeth. The less water we use, the less runoff and wastewater will pollute our ocean.
4. Walk or bike more to reduce the amount of carbon dioxide entering the atmosphere and ocean from tailpipe exhaust. Too much carbon dioxide in the ocean is making it harder for shellfish such as clams, mussels, and lobsters to build their shells.
5. Put garbage and recyclables in their proper place. Styrofoam and other garbage can choke marine birds and mammals.
6. Don’t release helium balloons. Winds may carry balloons far out into the ocean, where sea turtles can mistake them for their favorite dish: jellyfish.
7. Use reusable cloth bags at the grocery store.
8. Pack your lunch — and your kids’ lunches — in reusable containers.
9. Invest in a travel mug and a water bottle. Each year, people use and discard more than 25 billion disposable coffee cups and bottles for water and soft drinks.
10. Cut up plastic six-pack rings. If six-pack rings get into the marine environment, they can strangle marine birds, sea turtles and mammals. Better yet, choose to buy items that are not packaged with six-pack rings whenever possible.
11. Practice good tidepool etiquette. Try to avoid stepping on animals in rocky tide pools. Put any animals you pick up back where you found them, under the protection of seaweed or ledges.
Tips for Protecting Casco Bay
We know that healthy water only comes through each of us doing our part. Some practical ways to help protect the Bay include:
In the home and garden
- Dispose of chemicals properly – not down a storm drain, which can empty directly into the ocean.
- Select less toxic household cleaning alternatives or use non-toxic substitues.
- Practice ecological landscaping and gardening.
- Conserve water.
- Maintain your septic system, if you have one, so pollutants don’t leak into groundwater. Learn about how septic systems work and how to keep them working.
- Have your furnace, wood burning stove, and chimney checked and cleaned annually so they operate as cleanly as possible. This reduces airborne pollution that can end up in the ocean.
On the water and around town
- Practice clean boating techniques and empty marine sewage at pumpout facilities. To minimize gray water pollution, take fewer showers on board and use biodegradable soaps. For more ideas check out this Boater’s Guide.
- Use reusable shopping bags. If you need inspiration to go plastic-free, check out this slideshow.
- Ensure your car is well tuned to run at peak efficiency to reduce air pollution. When purchasing a new car, opt for one with high gas mileage.
- Report pollution to the authorities.