Be the Eyes on Your Bay!

Written by Kim Sharkey

sharkey 1Houston Zoo staff are frequently offered opportunities to take part in local conservation. One such opportunity is the Houston Zoo’s partnership with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Staff are given the chance to go out on patrol with a member of NOAA and conduct sea turtle surveys. I was lucky enough to have the chance June 1, 2016. Most of the day was spent in the survey truck driving up and down Galveston’s coast looking for stranded sea turtles. It was slightly cloudy and stormy due to the recent rainfall we have been experiencing recently. Such conditions are perfect for nesting females looking to lay eggs in the nearby sandy dunes. Unfortunately that day we did not locate any stranded or nesting turtles. What we found instead was the remains of the previous Memorial Day weekend. Visitors can leave trash and pollution on the beach but it can also be washed up from nearby reservoirs and bayous only to be taken back out again by the currents. Trash directly affects water quality and the local wildlife such as the sea turtle. When I returned home I could not help but want to know what more I could do to lessen the footprint we leave on our local beaches. There are many simple ways that you can make a positive impact on your environment such as by using reusable bags and water bottles and by recycling.

Want to know how YOU can make a difference?

Here are two great ways to get more involved.

1. Be the Eyes on your Bay!

sharkey 2Report pollution and trash to The Galveston Bay Foundation’s Action Network (GBAN) which allows you to make reports through their website or on your mobile device. The website contains an interactive GPS enabled map that pinpoint’s your exact location. The report is then sent on to the appropriate authorities in order for the situation to be resolved. It has never been easier to directly affect the health of your local beaches.

Use this handy tool created by @GBayFoundation to report #polluters for a clean & healthy #GalvestonBay! www.galvbay.org/GBAN

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2. Beach Clean up!

Host your own beach clean up party with a few of your friends or you can come and take part with Houston Zoo staff on July 16!

When: Saturday, July 16th from 8:00-10:00 a.m.

Where: Participants will be meeting along the seawall beside Pleasure Pier.

Pick up supplies will be provided, please bring your own reusable water bottle.

How: Interested parties can contact Shayla at sandreas@houstonzoo.org.

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