Leave the sand dollar on the beach, make the change
SARASOTA COUNTY- You may think taking sand dollars home from a beach trip is harmless, but you could end up breaking the law.
What started off as just a post about sand dollars on Facebook sparked a conversation. Captain Katie Scarlett was tired of seeing sand dollars being abused, so she went on Facebook to vent about her frustration.
Captain Katie Scarlett’s post on Facebook was shared over 16,000 times. Many people unknowingly toss sand dollars back, or worse take live sand dollars out of the water and kill them.
Some people are finding out that sand dollars are not just a souvenir or cute reminders of their time at the beach.
“I did not know sand dollars were alive,” said Lindsey Modin, a visitor at Lido Beach.
According to Florida Fish and Wildlife, it’s illegal to take shells that contain a living organism. A crime, Captain Katie, a Longboat Key Tour Guide, sees all too often.
“They fill their buckets and they end up using them as Frisbees,” said Scarlett. “I’ve seen some people break them; I’ve seen them thrown up against the boats.”
She wants to educate people about taking care of the ocean and its animals.
“Respect the water, respect the ocean respect the bay, respect the animals,” said Scarlett.
A lesson Stefanie Early is passing along to her children.
“We learned about that three year ago when we were here, that if you find them live that you should put them back in the ocean,” said Early.
Maybe with a little more awareness about sand dollars, we can make a change.
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