Each year over 18,000 beaches across the United States are closed or posted as unhealthy. If we all pitch in, we can make a difference in working to keep our coastal waters clean and beaches healthy.

Here are some things that you, your friends and family can do to help our beaches:

1. Pick up pet wastes. Pet waste that reaches the ocean can make both people and animals sick!

2. Rake and bag your yard clippings. Grass and yard clippings that get blown into the street often end up in storm drains, making a fertile breeding ground for harmful bacteria.

3. It’s best not to smoke. But if someone you know does, make sure they extinguish and dispose of cigarettes in a proper waste container. Cigarette butts are the number one litter component on the beach!

4. Don’t hose down your driveways. Not only does it waste water, but it causes oils and other icky stuff to end up in our oceans. Use a broom instead.

5. Plant gardens of drought resistant plants. These kind of plants use less water and help keep our beaches clean.

6. Always dispose of used motor oil properly. Never dump it in a storm drain or field. Take it to a gas station or collection area for recycling.

7. When you go to the beach, make sure you not only pick up your trash, but try and pick up at least one piece of somebody else’s. If everyone did this, our beaches and coastlines would get better real quick!

8. Ask your parents to cut back on fertilizers. Excess fertilizer that makes it into our watershed can cause harmful plankton blooms, or red tides, which harm fish, dolphins and other sealife.

This list was provided by the Surfrider Foundation.

When witnessing anyone allowing oil, paint, or chemicals (anything but water) to enter a storm drain, please report the incident to the Department of Fish and Game, by calling 888-DFG-CALTIP (888-334-2258).

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