FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 3, 2012
FLORIDIANS TO CELEBRATE AN ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY FOURTH OF JULY
are many ways to enjoy Independence Day while protecting Florida's natural
A flag flies at Fort Clinch State Park in Fernandina Beach. Enjoy Florida's state parks and natural resources in a responsible way this Fourth of July.
TALLAHASSEE – As Americans prepare to celebrate our country's
independence this Fourth of July, the Florida Department of Environmental
Protection encourages all Floridians to celebrate responsibly and while keeping
the environment in mind.
Residents and visitors alike can
take steps to protect our environment this holiday week. Here are some tips for
enjoying an environmentally friendly Fourth of July:
-Carpool to parties or barbeques.
-Don't litter, which can be a hazard
to wildlife and our environment.
-Be responsible with fireworks and
-Pick up after your pets.
-At the end of your fishing time,
don’t forget to reel in and properly dispose of tangled fishing line.
-Use pathways and boardwalks when
available to protect dunes and native vegetation
-Dispose of any leftover food
-Follow a “pack in, pack out”
philosophy and take everything you brought to the beach back off the beach and
into trash cans or recycle bins.
Following Tropical Storm Debby, paying close attention to behavior on the beach is even more important. Because of intense rains and wind from the storm, many sea turtle and shorebird nests were destroyed. The Department's Coastal and
Aquatic Managed Areas staff estimates that 80 to 90 percent of turtle nests in
many coastal locations were lost. However, beach surveys by department staff and volunteers,
in cooperation with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, have shown that after the storm, hundreds of new nests have
been created. Beachgoers during the Fourth of July
holiday and into the weekend can take some steps to help ensure these new nests are successful:
-Don't leave behind your personal
-Flatten sand castles and fill in
-Pick up litter.
-Stay off dunes and use designated
-Avoid flashlights, fires and
fireworks on the beach.
Also as a result of Tropical Storm
Debby, visitors and residents should heed to warnings about potential submerged
debris as a result of flooding, which state and local agencies are working to
clean up. This can be a hazard for boaters as well. Be sure to check with your
county emergency management office for updates.