Maine waters are considered the cleanest on the Eastern seaboard of the U.S. and are the cornerstone of Maine’s economy. If you’ve ever spoken to a Maine lobsterman about it, you’ll know that they routinely pick up other people’s trash and debris from the ocean. It’s not required of their job, but they have a total investment in keeping their resources and livelihood free from human litter.
The next time you visit Maine for a vacation or you’re coming to the Maine Lobster Festival, there are a number of things you can do—even just on a micro-level—to keep Maine waters healthy and clean.
Make Safe, Sustainable Choices When Buying Seafood
Fish populations globally are being overexploited, which is the complete opposite of the natural conservation practices lobster fishermen have been using for centuries with the adage: “Throw back for the future.” Locally caught lobster is part of a carefully crafted sustainable industry, so buy locally wherever you can, from reputable seafood businesses and co-ops, online lobster shipping companies and even directly from roadside purveyors (often lobstermen cutting out the middleman).
Limit Your Plastics
The alarming amount of plastic that pollutes Maine’s waterways has infiltrated our environment even down to the micro-level into the food web. And the disastrous effect on marine life is being felt worldwide. The number one culprit of garbage that lobstermen retrieve from the ocean is discarded plastic. In response, many areas of Maine have banned single-use plastic bags. Here are tips to reduce your plastic use.
Clean the Beach as you Walk
Beachcombing in Maine is a fun and relaxing activity that anyone can do while visiting, as it’s an endless discovery and a treasure hunt. But, no one likes to come upon human debris. Every spring and fall, multiple Maine communities and organizations participate in a yearly coastal cleanup—from islands to waterways to shorelines. Perhaps bring a trash bag with you the next time you stroll the beaches along Midcoast Maine—one person can make even that much difference. It’s also a great way to naturally and effortlessly teach kids about plastic pollution and our impact on the environment. Here’s how to find a cleanup event the next time you visit.
Support Organizations that Protect our Oceans
In addition to several trusted organizations whose sole mission is to clean up the ocean, there are several Maine conservation groups worth supporting as well as educational foundations such as the Maine Coastal Program.
To love the abundant natural beauty of Maine is to protect it for generations to come. Everything we can do, from picking up an old toothbrush that washed up on the beach to making a financial donation to an ocean-related organization, goes farther toward the end goal of keeping Maine healthy and “the way life should be.”
To get more ideas of what to do on your next vacation to Maine, visit our blog at the Maine Lobster Festival’s website.