Take action in your home. You can contribute to Bays protection by preventing pollution from your household. Reduce your use of chemicals, detergents, fertilizers, and pesticides - and save household waste for the town-wide hazardous waste collection. It will make a difference!


Clean up after your pet. Pet waste contains bacteria that can contaminate waterways after a rain. These bacteria are harmful to humans, and can lead to shellfish bed and swimming beach closures.

Don't dump your tank! If you own a saltwater or freshwater aquarium, don't dump your tank or live aquatic pets. You may think that you are doing your critters a favor by releasing them back to the sea, but these aquatic plants or animals may disrupt the delicate balance of our local aquatic environment. Instead, throw away plants in the garbage and return live unwanted pets to the pet store or donate them to a nature center.

Dispose of your used motor oil properly. One quart of used oil can pollute one million gallons of water. Place used oil in a sealable container and return to point of purchase or to the Town Highway Garage.

Use pesticides and fertilizers sparingly, or not at all. Pesticides and fertilizers don't always stay on your lawn - rainwater picks up the chemicals and washes them into our rivers and streams. Pesticides contain toxic poisons that don't only kill unwanted pests - they also kill fish and other aquatic life. Fertilizers provide an overload of nutrients to waterways and cause excessive algae growth that disrupts the natural system.

A Common Loon, a diving bird that eats fish, entangled in Synthetic (non-degradable) netting

Participate in the annual CoastSweep celebration. Let's clean up the coast! The annual CoastSweep (Sept-Oct) celebration is a great way to lend a hand, pick up some trash, and make our coast a better place to live. Contact the Coastal Zone Management Office for more details.

Support funding and protective legislation for the Massachusetts Bays. State and federal legislators need to hear from YOU - their constituents. Check out the Directory of Massachusetts Government to locate your representatives. Write a letter, make a phone call, and let your voice be heard.

Work with us! The Massachusetts Bays Program has representatives from every coastal community participating in coastal protection projects; contact staff in your region to see how you can get involved. Also, contact your local officials about your issues of concern.

Enjoy and promote the Bays' resources. Everyone loves the Bays for one reason or another: for recreation, for income, for aesthetics, for the simple reason they exist. Communicate your interests in their protection to elected officials, educators, peers and your children. Support your local watershed group. Volunteer on a local board. Speak up at Town Meeting. Write a letter to your local newspaper.