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On the surface, it may seem like a whole lot of digging going on in local town governments.
Beach communities throughout Brunswick County are up to their necks in sand, and they’re talking about its impact.
Recently, Sunset Beach Town Council was among those talking sand and shade. To some, the entire discussion may seem a bit silly. With taxes, water and sewer, streets and more to deal with, why would a town kick up such dust about people enjoying themselves on the beach? Beaches are, for many who live and visit here, an essential quality of life component. Why is government getting worked up about holes—big and small—on local beaches?
Because it’s a safety issue, one that not only affects the people who live and visit here, but also wildlife that call our shores home.
Maybe you’ve seen it yourself—people of all ages with tiny plastic shovels in hand. Some merely make moats around their sandcastles; others playfully pull back drier sand for the wetter stuff beneath. It seems like it’s harmless enough and it can be, but like too many other things in life, often people do it in excess.
Problems arise when people spend a great deal of time building large holes or deep ones and when it’s time to go home for the day, they simply walk away, leaving holes in the sand. These holes become obstacles for those walking on the beach.
While it’s definitely a safety concern for those taking a stroll after the sun goes down or comes up, it can also create problems for those who are distracted by the natural beauty of the area while out for a walk.
Ever stepped in an unexpected hole or groove and twisted an ankle? Not only is it painful, for those who head out to the beach alone, it can be difficult to get help should such a need arise.
The holes also are problematic to nesting sea turtles that visit our beaches. Nesting turtles can fall in holes and get injured or not make it safely inland to lay eggs. The more obstacles there are for sea turtles to make their nests, the lower our returns of successful hatchlings will be.
Do your part whether you live here or are visiting. Have fun on the beach. Dig holes, make sandcastles and enjoy the surf, but before you leave do everything you can to return the beach to the condition it was in before you arrived.
Toss your trash in the appropriate receptacles, pack up all your beach gear and take it with you, and fill in those holes. Keep Brunswick County beaches safe and welcoming for all.