Friday, July 11, 2014
Leaving Sea Shells by the Sea Shore
I see people with buckets full of shells on Florida beaches as if prospecting for gold. What can they possibly be using them for? Aren't they just going to be thrown away in a year or ten, or left to collect dust in some box in a garage or attic?
Collecting seashells by the seashore seemed harmless enough until now. Researchers have found that collecting seashells is not good for the beach ecosystem. Shells support the beach structure, provide homes for all kinds of critters, and grow algae, which is lunch for many.
Nature has a purpose for everything.
The old wilderness mantra -- leave only footprints take only photographs -- certainly applies to the beach.
Does the damage compare to other ocean harms like ocean acidification and overfishing? Nope, but it's still a negative impact.
I did it. I had a large collection. I still hang onto a nice looking shell once in awhile, but I leave it on the sand when I depart. Fair enough.
Posted by Mike Misner at 6:07 PM