Be Careful With What You Collect When Cleaning Rivers And Beaches

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    Every action of human beings leave consequences, some good and others not so much. If you do not have knowledge about your actions and the consequence it has for the environment.Among the constant activities on the beaches of Costa Rica, is the extraction of shells, which directly affects the entire ecosystem.

    It’s easy to say, all you have to do is “don’t collect shells.” But, there are times when beach cleaning generate all sorts of wonders that come with the garbage.

    The extraction of natural objects that are within national parks is prohibited

    The laws of Costa Rica, such as the Wildlife Conservation Law, prohibit the extraction of all types of flora and fauna, including shells; the lack of knowledge in people is what generates unconscious actions towards our planet.

    Experts say that it is forbidden to remove anything natural, included rocks, wood, plants, animals, among others, that are inside national parks or wildlife refuges. At all other beaches (outside parks and shelters), only commercial collectors, with the appropriate permit, can remove seashells.

    It turns out, there are also Laws that prohibit real estate developers from transporting trucks loaded with rocks and sand from the beaches and rivers of Costa Rica, leaving them susceptible to erosion.

    Of course, logging without a permit is also illegal and most travelers don’t bring their chainsaws anyway, but the laws can be extended to driftwood. Also travelers have at various times reported that Costa Rican airport security has confiscated beach glass (that is, real trash) from hand luggage.

    There are exceptions

    Everything that is shells, seeds, sticks, butterflies and feather that someone else picks up and adds string to make a necklace or glue to a bowl as decoration are sold in souvenir shops across the country and at the airport.  These are – theoretically – legal. In fact, the US and other countries have extremely strict laws on the importation of pieces of endangered species.

    In the case of seashells

    The seashells generate stability within the ecosystem; they are food for some species. Specialists define that the shells help control soil erosion and allow algae, plants, marine sponges and others to adhere to them. As long as there are fewer shells on the beaches, various species such as the hermit crab can be left unprotected from predators.

    The hermit crab can best seen in Puntarenas, uses the shells as protective armor and changes its shell as its growth increases. If they can’t find a bigger shell, they die.

    Among other damages that can be caused by taking a shell, there is less sand on the beach and the decrease in the abundance of fish. Small fish use shells to hide from other sea creatures that want to eat them.

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