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ONDBEAT: Action groups summon gumption to change things they hope they can

If you see something you don’t like that can be steered in a different direction, gird yourself and do something about it.

Isn’t that just what “Serenity Prayer” theologian/author Reinhold Niebuhr, whose name I just googled, always inferred? Well, in so many words.

But taking action to change the status quo is hardly a serene endeavor, as members of two recently formed groups can no doubt verify. It’s usually borne out of years, yea, decades, of frustration after their own prayers seem to fall on deaf ears.

It’s also been said you can’t fight city hall, another adage of murky origin attributed to a prior century when frustrated citizens existed then, too. But that’s typically why these groups get started.

A few weeks ago, the newly re-formed Brunswick Environmental Action Team (BEAT) got a re-start after all five members of Sunset Beach’s Environmental Resource Committee resigned April 19 after Sunset Beach Town Council banned them from discussing dredging on the island.

Now, all five former ERC members say that was a good thing, because they’ve joined the countywide BEAT drawing more members, covering more territory and allowing them to speak publicly on any topic they wish, including but not limited to dredging on the Sunset Beach island.

Their first meeting on April 26 drew a capacity crowd of 30 people from across the county into a meeting room at Hickmans Crossroads Library. BEAT organizers are staking space for an even larger gathering for their second meeting scheduled for 10 a.m. next Wednesday, May 24, in a meeting room at Brunswick Electric Membership Corp. on U.S. 17 in Supply.

On their agenda is voting for a board of directors and mission statement, funding, creating a BEAT website and Facebook page, Brunswick County environmental issues (but of course) and planning a rally with international action group Oceana to “stand up against ocean drilling and seismic testing.”

Meanwhile, on the more easterly end of the South Brunswick Islands, boat captains and fisher-people convened at an inaugural session last Friday night, May 12, at Holden Beach Marina to address concerns and action about direly needed dredging of the Lockwood Folly Inlet.

Their own newly forming action team, Lockwood Inlet Association, is the result of alarm about the increasingly shoaling inlet that has sorely limited boat travel and posed increasingly severe safety issues, especially as the season heats up.

Local charter boat Capts. Cane Faircloth and Ryan Williams can point out where the center of the inlet is now less than two feet in depth.

The LIA is also in its formative stage, with assistance from the Carolina Beach Inlet Association, which has previously been there, done that, when it comes to addressing and resolving coastal dredging needs.

These fledgling action teams consist of citizens who already know a thing or two about the courage it takes to try to change the things that can be and need to be changed.

Hopefully, they’ll also be granted the wisdom to make a difference.

Laura Lewis is a staff writer for the Beacon. Reach her at 754-6890 or llewis@brunswickbeacon.com.