At play

50 ways to love your ocean and coasts

  • 24. Explore recreational opportunities on public lands and waters.

    Visit your local national marine sanctuaries, national estuarine research reserves, national wildlife refuges, national fish hatcheries, and national parks.

  • 25. Take up a new sport or pastime.

    Purchasing a fishing or hunting license often means generating revenue for state wildlife conservation efforts. Learn to dive, as that gives you a view of the world that only 1% of Americans have ever seen, instilling a sense of wonder and responsibility for ocean conservation.

  • 26. Play wisely.

    Anchor boats in sandy areas or mooring buoys, away from corals, seagrasses, and other sensitive coastal environments. Enjoy coral reefs from a distance. Avoid standing on or kicking corals—which are animals!—so that they can continue to support fisheries, tourism, and safe coastal communities. And please keep off the dunes! Sand dunes represent nature’s best protection against shoreline erosion. Please don’t walk on or damage this fragile resource. Use the dune walkovers.

  • 27. Consider the impact of coast-dependent businesses.

    There are millions of people who depend on the ocean and coast for their livelihood, from commercial fishermen and to the recreation and tourism industry. A healthy coast is good for the local and national economy.

  • 28. Go on a virtual expeditions.

    You might be amazed at what you see!

  • 29. Go on a virtual dive.

    Honestly, it’s the next best thing to being there.

  • 30. Visit your local aquarium or nature center.

    Learn more about the natural world around you. Check with your local parks and recreation department for offerings close to home or visit one of our aquarium partners.

  • 31. Visit a coastal park.

    Learn more about the aquatic environment around you. There’s 29 National Estuarine Research Reserves and 15 National Marine Sanctuaries awaiting exploration, and over a thousand other underwater parks all over the country. You can also find coastal and other parks near you.

  • 32. Familiarize yourself with coastal management laws and policies.

    The National Coastal Zone Management Program works with states to protect our nation’s coasts and Great Lakes, including preserving and enhancing public access to beaches and coastal waters.