Go Green: 3 steps to a cleaner beach

A great way to give back to the planet is by participating in an Earth Day event on Long Island! There will be lots of beach cleanups you can join. But News 12 Long Island's Elizabeth Hashagen has tips on three simple things you can do at the beach any time you go.
Long Island is known for its beaches. Jones Beach saw 6 million visitors last summer - but all that popularity also means tons of trash. Just last year, Jones Beach accumulated more than 5,000 tons of garbage, according to the New York State Parks.
And it's not just Jones Beach. According to the Northeast Chapter of the American Littoral Society, NYS Coastal Cleanup collected 274 bags of trash at Nassau County beaches and 642 bags of trash at Suffolk County beaches in 2017.
So, how can we all do a better job at the beach?
Step 1 - leave the plastic behind and bring your snacks in reusable bags and containers! 
"What you are doing is not just making the beach cleaner, in the sense that it looks better. You're saving the lives of animals that ingest debris and get sick," says Robert DiGiovanni, chief scientist at Atlantic Marine Conservation Society.
Step 2 - Pick it up! If you see bottles or caps don't leave them there. 
"Treat it as if someone lives there because animals do," says DiGiovanni.
Step 3 - Skip the straw! The Surfrider Foundation's Eastern Long Island Chapter is joining the worldwide movement to get rid of plastic straws. At one beach cleanup in Greenport, that chapter removed 922 straws from the beach. You can take the pledge to make this year a "Strawless Summer" here