Beach Access Controversy | Who Owns the Beach?
“Okay, it may be your property, but you need to have what I call ‘practical wisdom’ about the whole thing,” she says. “So let it be your property, but let people have respectful use of this great gift we’ve been given. Us old folks, we’ve cared for the piping plovers that nest here, we’ve cared for the beach, but we’re not going to be around forever. If somebody doesn’t love the beach like we do, they’ll kill the sea life and things will get polluted. They need to come here; they need to learn about it and love it like we do.”As I pulled away from her house, I thought about what Sherman had said. I thought about that beautiful beach in front of her place, too. Maybe it was just 25 feet of sand she was ceding to the town, but if put in her shoes, could I have done the same thing? Would I have wanted to? As I slowly made my way down Kings Highway, catching occasional glimpses of the water and the empty shoreline, I imagined it in summer, the scene suddenly cluttered with strangers and their radios and all their beach stuff. Would I have given this up for the chance of that? Would you?
The answers aren’t so easy.