Ideas Abound; Solutions Do Not

Kirk   March 21, 2009   Comments Off on Ideas Abound; Solutions Do Not

I went out to the beach last week to hand out trash bags. As the alternative break students observed last week, and I stated in 2006, and other students suggested in 2008, and the TDC says they’re “investigating” in 2009, the idea of providing trash bags to visitors on the beach is a pretty common-sense approach to keeping the beach clean.

Other ideas are in the papers, on the news and in blogs: Put out recycle bins. Make law-breakers clean it up as community service. Enforce the litter laws to begin with. Fine businesses who do not follow code on their beach.

All these ideas are fine, but none are being executed. Just “investigated.”

While I applaud the TDC’s decision to emphasize clean beaches as a part of their strategic plan, they have not come close to acting on real, preventative solutions. Nor have they considered improving the method of how they clean the beaches now.

The current process includes running tractors and surf rakes up and down the beach. It costs $700K per year now, and that’s not enough money to do it properly this way.

If you’re going to “groom” the beaches once a week, that means 6 days of the week during peak seasons will have too much litter in the most popular public spaces.
“Grooming” the beach also has proven to bury the top layer of fine sand, and till up the coarser sand. What’s more, the surf rake buries glass bottles instead of raking them up.

And here’s a fun question for bed tax collectors: Why are you about to spend millions of dollars to retrofit “turtle-friendly” lighting while these John Deere tractors will be racing up and down your beaches, surely crushing any little turtle eggs under the sand?