Ocean conservation is the Mermaid of Hilton Head's passion and nothing makes her more happy than to educate others on how help keep her ocean home safe!
Things we are doing to help:
Some proceeds from the Mermaid of Hilton Head gets donated to the following organizations which we are happy to help support.
We also sponsor beach cleanup events throughout the year to help keep our beaches and ocean clean!
We have printed out posters for local businesses and vacation rentals to remind locals as well as to teach tourists the importance of turning your lights out after 10pm on beachfront properties. If you would like one for your local business or vacation rental please send us a message!
We sell and have been promoting the use of reef friendly skincare products such as sunscreen and body wash. When you go swimming in the ocean, your sunscreen comes off in the water and the chemicals in most sunscreens can be damaging to ocean life including fish and reefs. Your body wash and shampoo also eventually ends up in the ocean so using ocean-safe products can make a big impact in recovering our reefs!
We do outreach and presentations at schools and other organizations to spread the message of ocean conservation. If you are interested in Mermaid Nina talking at your school or organization please reach out to us.
Here are some changes you can make to keep our oceans beautiful and full of life:
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle! - we tend to be wasteful while on vacation. When you go grocery shopping for the week, keep in mind that there is no way you are going to go through all of that food in one week. We all try to over prepare for the week, leaving a lot of leftovers by the end of our vacation. The key is to try to be conservative from the beginning to avoid all of the waste at the end of your vacation. Why does this matter? This matters because the more waste we produce, the higher chance of it ending up in our ocean. Imagine how easily it would be for that bag of bread to be snatched up by a raccoon and discarded outside somewhere after the bread has been eaten. Then the wind picks it up, wisps it into the ocean, and a sea turtle thinks it's a yummy jellyfish. That's all it takes, and it is a simple step to prevent this from happening.
Clean up after others! If you see debris on the beach, pick it up and dispose of it properly. Not everyone respects the beach like we do, so we need to help as much as we can and reduce their carbon footprint for them.
Clean up after yourself! When at the beach, leave nothing but footprints - be sure you follow the same rules you expect everyone else to follow.
Be a Blue Boater! Practice safe boating that protects both you and the ocean. Keep a supply of oil absorbent rags, be sure your boat is fuel efficient, use legal bottom paint and biodegradable cleaning agents, avoid discharging toilet waste, secure all items before heading out so they don't end up in the ocean, use fish cleaning stations, or try composting, and do business with eco-friendly marinas whenever possible.*
Research the seafood you eat. Be sure that the seafood you are purchasing was caught legally with ocean-safe methods.
Conserve water. Water you save helps to keep clean rivers flowing into the sea.*
Volunteer to help! Volunteer when you can to help spread the word about the ocean and its environment.*
Use less plastic. The plastic that finds its way into the ocean never stops polluting.*
Sail on only ocean-friendly cruise ships! Avoid vacationing on a floating source of pollution.*
Protect our waters from invasive species! One of the greatest rapidly growing threats to our waters is the introduction of non-native plants, animals and microorganisms. Thoroughly clean your boat hull before traveling a great distance. Don't flush kitty litter down the toilet - cat feces contain deadly pathogens that is one of the main causes of sea otter deaths.*
Join a coastal cleanup! Protect our shoreline while getting some healthy outdoor exercise.*
Drive a fuel-efficient car or join a carpool. Tailpipe emissions are a major source of ocean pollution.*
Don't exploit sea creatures. The ocean and its friends are not here for our amusement. Please do not purchase coral jewelry, or dead sand dollars, starfish, dried seahorses or anything of the like. Sure they are dead now, but they were most likely living when someone came across them and saw dollar signs. Don't purchase dietary supplements made from endangered wildlife, like shark cartilage, coral calcium, turtle oil, or shark liver oil.*
Keep oil off our shore. We can develop ocean-friendly sources of energy on and off the water.*
Conserve Energy. Energy conservation reduces the impact of power plants, which can poison ocean waters and fish.*
Don't shop on the beach! Sand dollars are living things and if you take them, you are therefore killing them. Don't deplete our oceans of sand dollars or other sea creatures to decorate your house.
Teach your kids about the ocean. Conservation starts with us. Teach the next generation how to be respectful of the ocean and conserve not only for their future but for following generations as well! We offer a series of educational children's books to help get the conversation started and make learning fun and conservation interesting! Click on the photo below for purchasing details!
What you can do to protect our wildlife and keep Hilton Head wild:
If you see injured wildlife such as birds, turtles, dolphins, alligators and other land mammals please do not harass them or touch them, but you can report them by calling this number: 1-800-922-5431 or you can call Beach Patrol directly at 1-843-785-3494.
It is against the law to feed dolphins, feed alligators or harass any wildlife which includes taking live sand dollars and starfish from their ocean homes and putting them in your pockets. If you see anyone doing any of these things, please report it to Beach Patrol at 1-843-785-3494.
To report a dead or injured turtle call: South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (24/7): 1-800-922-5431
To report light violations (if beach front properties have their lights on after 10pm) call: 1-843-341-4642
*Information provided by 50 ways to Save the Ocean by David Helvarg