Clean It Up: The Benefits of Beach Raking

“A Thalassophile” (n.) A lover of the sea.

You might not have heard of this word before, yet most people would say that they love the sea. Does that make you a thalassophile? Maybe, but unfortunately, as much as we humans claim to love our precious turquoise ocean, it’s not being cared for.

In fact, according to the team at National Geographic, as of 2015 there were 5.25 Trillion pieces of trash in the ocean.

Yes, the ocean and the marine life that lives within is in trouble. And we need to do something, before its too late.

How can you keep the ocean clean? One way is beach raking. Keep reading to find out more.

What is Beach Raking?

Beach raking or grooming is the practice of removing seaweed, debris, and trash from sandy beaches.

There are a variety of methods you can use. For major projects, some use large tractors with rakes being pulled behind. Others use tools, such as beach rakes, to clean areas both inside and outside the water. And others use their hands to pick up trash along the shoreline.

However it’s done beach raking is a great way to keep beaches clean and well groomed.

Read on to see the several potential benefits to beach raking.

What are the benefits?

According to Ocean Conservancy, trash in the ocean has a profound effect on wildlife people and local economies. Let’s take a look at the benefits of beach cleaning for each of these groups:

1. It Helps to Protect Wildlife

Beach raking helps to remove trash, such as plastics and fishing gear. These unwanted items can be detrimental to wildlife.

For marine animals, trash in the water and on the shoreline is easily mistaken as food. For example, many sea turtles sadly eat plastic bags thinking they are jellyfish, causing them to suffocate. Other sea turtles, fish, and birds also eat plastic straws and stirrers, causing a real danger to their lives.

“From plankton to whales, animals across ocean ecosystems have been contaminated by plastic. Plastic has been found in 59% of seabirds like albatross and pelicans, in 100% of sea turtle species, and more than 25% of fish sampled from seafood markets around the world” – Ocean Conservancy

Other animals may get tangled up in trash or old fishing lines and nets eventually leading to their death. We all remember that tragic photo in 2017 of the seahorse holding onto a Q-tip.

Plastic also attracts and concentrates pollutants from surrounding seawater, so when it is eaten by unsuspecting marine creatures, they can become contaminated.

Beach cleaning can help to save these creatures. But it’s not only affecting the animals, it’s affecting us too.

2. It Helps to Protect All of Us

If we go back to that quote from the Ocean Conservancy above, it stated that 25% of fish sampled from seafood markets have traces of plastic in them. That means we are eating plastic too.

It’s not just plastic though. Recently, many fish and other kinds of seafood have been found to have high levels of mercury in them. The fish ingest things with mercury in them, we, in turn, eat the fish and ingest dangerous amounts of mercury, which can actually lead to insanity.

Keeping the shoreline clean will help any beachgoers to enjoy themselves more. Imagine taking a trip down to the beach and having to wade through smelly rubbish, old seaweed or debris to get to the sea. Nobody wants that experience when they go to the seaside.

An unclean beach may also be a health and safety hazard. You could step on something dangerous, or even get tangled up in something and fall over.

As you can see, keeping beaches clean protects all of us.

3. It Helps to Protect Local Economies

Clean beaches mean more tourism. And that’s a vital part of the economy for many places around the world. Having a dirty beach really puts people off.

For those who own shoreline businesses, such as villas, hotels, or restaurants, a clean beach will definitely improve the overall ambiance of their beachfront experience, which in turn keeps them in business.

There are also many men and women who earn their living from selling or catching seafood.

If you still want to eat fish for dinner, we need to keep fishermen in business. If the beaches are unclean, boats will find it hard to float through the debris. They will also struggle when they pull up nets that are filled with trash.

Cleaning up the shoreline can help keep many local economies thriving.

How can you get involved?

There are many organizations and charities that are doing their bit in saving the planet.

Whether you decide to join a team, make a local team of your own or be a lone ranger, you can really help to make a difference in your efforts.

Getting the community together for a beach grooming session can also bring you contentment. Not only will you be doing something meaningful and unselfish, but you’ll also increase your knowledge about the marine environment.

If you’re planning a beach raking session, make sure to follow these simple beach cleaning hacks:

  • Visit the beach when it’s not busy
  • Notify local authorities
  • Have a plan for where you’ll dispose of the trash
  • Keep everyone safe by wearing thick gloves and closed toe shoes
  • Don’t use plastic bags!
  • Use buckets or reusable bags to collect the trash and recyclables

Other things you should remember include recycling and having the right equipment.

Have designated bags or boxes for items that can be recycled. For example cans, glass and plastic bottles can all be kept separately for recycling. Bigger items, such as old tires and appliances might be able to be recycled too. Do your research beforehand to check if there are any fees for recycling these items.

Have the right equipment. A beach rake is a key item to have on hand and can make the process of beach cleaning so much faster and more productive.

Save Planet Earth — Do Your Bit

Do your bit. Every little bit helps! The things you do now to help your planet can help to protect wildlife, the economy and your fellow humans both now and in the future.

So get your tools ready, grab a bucket and get down to the beach!

Check out our products page for a variety of tools that can help you make your beach raking a success.

Weed Razers