Hundreds of thousands of visitors come from all over the world each year to experience Daytona Beach’s famously wide beaches and wild beauty. With 23 miles of expansive, hard-packed beaches that reach 500 feet wide at low tide, there’s a lot of beach to love here. And with everyone doing their part to keep it clean, we can ensure it remains a special place for generation after generation.

You’ve likely heard time and again that littering is bad — but what damage does it actually do? As it turns out, it can do a significant amount of harm to our ecosystem over time. Birds that try to eat discarded cigarette butts, manatees that get tangled in fishing line, sea turtles that choke on plastic in their water — these are all causalities of human complacency. We live in an era when it matters more than ever to go above and beyond in our efforts to preserve our environment. Ahead, read four easy ways you can reduce your impact on the beach and help it thrive for years and years to come. 

1.    Don’t bring disposable cups.
Not only are disposable cups (like plastic or foam cups that you buy at the store) discouraged in Daytona Beach, they’re actually prohibited. They pose too much of a threat to the oceans and can easily blow away from your spot on the beach. Instead, bring refillable water bottles, a big thermos or reusable cups.

2.    Dispose of all litter properly.
Remember that empty packet of crackers that blew away with the breeze when you finished it? It may have seemed insignificant at the time, but little acts of littering literally pile up and create a bigger, overwhelming problem. If we all take personal responsibility and the time to pick up after ourselves, we can reduce the amount of trash that’s left for others to deal with. 

3.    Switch out your plastic bag.
It’s easy to forget how harmful plastic grocery bags are for the environment, but they’re an important habit to break. It’s often second nature to pack your picnic in the grocery bag it came with, especially when you’re on vacation and maybe don’t have all the resources you’re used to. Instead, slip a flat tote bag into your suitcase to use as a beach bag. This is an easy way to eliminate waste near the water!  

4.    Cut through the plastic 6-pack.
Before you ever even head to the beach, you can help keep the beaches clean right from home. You’ve probably seen sad images of sea turtles and other sea creatures entangled in the plastic wrappings that come on soda cans, energy and sports drinks, and plastic water bottles. It only takes a few moments to use scissors to slice through the circles of the wrapper before you throw it away, and it helps prevent animals from getting caught in them.

Help us keep Daytona Beach beautiful! Our unique beaches and wildlife are precious, and they deserve to be protected. Come, explore and enjoy — but please help us keep the beach clean. That way, when your kids come back to it with their own kids or grandkids, the legacy can live on. 

Come explore Daytona Beach in all its natural glory — start planning your trip today!