We discuss this topic every single year and yet somehow, it remains topical because the same mistakes are still being made.

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I was taking a walk on the beach in Lavallette with my dog, Carolina, when I stumbled upon a sight that made me so angry, I was shaking.

There was a line of garbage along the water line filled with garbage, wrappers and empty cups.

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I couldn't believe my eyes. Clearly a party or something had been held?

At one point, I even stumbled upon a pile of empty shells from peanuts in the sand. Really? You can't dispose of those shells in a plastic bag as you snack?

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When I decided to walk even closer, I also happened to notice that a bunch of this garbage had already made its way into the water.

We only have one set of beaches, one Jersey Shore and one Earth.

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If they all end up trashed, there are no replacements. And as someone whose happy place is the beach, I am begging people to remain aware of the condition of an area once you leave.

We may set ourselves up for failure by trashing our own beaches, but it is so unfair to do the same to the ocean when marine life rely on it to survive.

Whenever using a public space, the rule I personally like to follow is to leave an area you used just as clean, if not cleaner, than you found it.

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Here is what scares me.

Beach season where thousands of tourists come down to visit has not even begun yet.

I am not sure if these were early vacationers or even worse, locals, but either way this cannot happen.

Is it fair that more pressure falls on us locals? No but we have to set the precedent.

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Imagine how tourists will treat the Jersey Shore if they show up to an already trashed beach.

They will think, "What's the use of cleaning up if it is already like this?" and have a field day. (More so than they already do)

Yes, there are clean up events.

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And yes, one could argue that a few wrappers left in the sand won't make or break anything.

But there does come a point that our littering and unhealthy ways become irreversible and permanent damage is done.

Let's lead by example because the chaos of Summer has yet to begin.

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I look forward to seeing you all out and about at the Jersey Shore this Summer at clean, well-maintained areas that I know we all care about.

Stay safe and get ready for beach season to begin.

While we are on the topic of beaches, have you gotten your beach badges yet?

Here are your ultimate guides for Monmouth & Ocean County.

Let's take a look:

Surfs Up! Your Ocean County Beach Badge Guide For Summer 2022

The time to buy beach badges for Ocean County locals is NOW! There are early bird specials all over the place. Here are all the beach badge prices that Ocean County towns have released thus far:

Surfs Up! Your Monmouth County Beach Badge Guide For Summer 2022

The time to buy beach badges for Monmouth County locals is NOW! There are early bird specials all over the place. Here are all the beach badge prices that Monmouth County towns have released thus far: