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""Did you know that the Massachusetts coastline is long enough to run from Boston to Miami on Interstate 95?

Learn how you can help preserve more than 1,500 miles of the Commonwealth’s coast during Clean Beaches Week, July 1–7. Read these helpful tips from the Office of Coastal Zone Management (CZM) to keep the state’s waters clean so you and your family can enjoy this summer — and many more to come.

  • Stay off Sand Dunes — Sand dunes protect inland areas from storm damage. Act responsibly at the beach — avoid walking on dunes and trampling grass and shrubbery that hold them in place. Instead, use designated walkways and boardwalks.
  • Watch for Wildlife — Massachusetts residents share the coast with a variety of wildlife and intriguing marine creatures. Be aware of your surroundings — watch where you step to avoid disturbing animals and their habitats. Leave all animals and plants where you found them. If you think an animal may be in trouble, follow the National Marine Life Center’s instructions on what you can do for a stranded marine animal.
  • Mind Your Dog — Be responsible when bringing your dog to the beach. Keep your pet on a leash and stick to designated walkways to protect other animals, plants, and habitats. You should always scoop up dog droppings, because they can cause dangerous infections in humans and pollute local waters.
  • Practice Clean Boating — Obey no wake signs and speed limits in Massachusetts waters to reduce boating impacts on the environment. Boaters must use pumpout facilities to dispose of sewage, and using bilge socks is encouraged to stop the release of oil and gas. Follow CZM’s tips for environmentally friendly boating.
  • Don’t Litter — Trash in the ocean and on beaches, also known as marine debris, is hazardous to coastal wildlife, waters, beachgoers, and boaters. Help clean up Massachusetts shores by throwing your litter in trash barrels. If barrels are full or trash cans are not available, take waste with you and dispose of it properly. Do not throw waste in an overflowing trash can.
  • Keep Our Water Clean at Home — You can help keep Massachusetts coastal waters clean from the comfort of your home by following good water usage practices. Properly maintain septic systems, dispose of hazardous waste, reduce fertilizer and pesticide use, and keep storm drains clean to help reduce water contamination.

You can help protect the Massachusetts coast when the summer is over by volunteering for COASTSWEEP, a statewide initiative sponsored by CZM. COASTSWEEP brings together thousands of volunteers every September and October to collect marine debris and gather information on what is found. The information is used as part of an international effort through the Ocean Conservancy to identify sources of marine debris, raise awareness, and develop ways to prevent trash from polluting oceans.

As you hit the beach this summer, respect the environment and follow these simple tips to keep the Commonwealth’s coast clean for generations to come!

Spread the word about Clean Beaches Week! Share this post with family & friends who love the #MAcoast. Comment below or tweet us @MassGov with questions.

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