Is it OK to take shells from a beach? The overwhelming consensus from environmental groups is a resounding “no.” It’s obvious that spiral-style shells are important to leave because they are literally homes for aquatic creatures. But while many may see no harm in taking broken shells or flat fragments as souvenirs, you should leave them, and here’s why: Many aquatic species use broken shells as armor or camouflage in the ocean, and birds often build nests with them. One thing that’s totally safe to collect is sea glass. It’s technically trash, since it’s broken glass tumbled soft in the ocean.
ANDREWS MCMEEL SYNDICATION