It’s been a long hot summer and I haven’t had a lot that I can write about on these pages without repeating myself though I will probably do some of that here this day as it’s hard not to from time to time.
When I first started coming down to the Seashore from Virginia, I had no clue of the expanse of these beaches and just how extraordinary they are. Neither was I aware of the community of visitors that call this place their second home and how much they care for this amazing place. In fact, it was several years before I began the journey to this ribbon of sand and experienced the “rush”; that moment when the mind, body, and soul completely relax because you know the Island is just around the corner or more accurately, just over the bridge. Those that have been here a few times know exactly what I’m talking about and also know that what I write here is no exaggeration.
It’s unfortunate that most of the visitors to our beaches have no clue that within short order, the “landscape” of the Seashore which changes so much, is about to change again to an extraordinary degree.
It used to be that changes around here were due to big storms which often resulted in almost the entire Island being flooded and washed over by the sea and we’d all have to wait to see what was different though we always carried the knowledge that once the storm had passed, we would be able to venture back out onto the sand 24 hours a day, every day. And we did so while respecting the, and working to, preserve the wildlife and the Seashore as a whole.
Those that are versed in the dynamics of this amazing place understand that when wildlife is harmed here, less than 5% of these incidents can be attributed to human activity of any sort though those that wish to change the nature of our access to our Seashore still ignore and refuse to admit it.
Many folks that come to these beaches to enjoy time with their families or even just to get away and fish for a while have no clue that this will be the last year that they will enjoy the sort of freedom of movement they have in the past and that huge portions of our beaches will be permanently off limits to all access; particularly some of the most oft visited portions of the islands that comprise the Seashore. Nor do they realize that for a significant portion of the year, something as simple as bringing ones dog with them on vacation to the sand will result in a ticket, fine, and a possible appearance in Federal court. That’s all part of the proposed plan for access to the Seashore that the National Park Service is about to impose. It makes the draconian “consent decree” that we have suffered under for the last three years look like “child’s play”.
Many seem to think that this is a local issue.
It’s not! This is a National problem.
We, the American people, own this stretch of sand; excepting the eight villages contained within the Seashore. And we, the American people are being robbed of this place by our government, and as the people, we also pay environmental groups to sue us (thats you and me folks), who continue to file or threaten to sue so as to influence policy even though their claims don’t match the reality of the dynamics of these islands or even the unproven, speculative claims of harm to wildlife.
To defeat this nightmare and preserve these beaches for future generations of families and their children as was required by the Congress when they established the Seashore, we need your help and we need it now.
When the Congress established this Seashore, the first National Seashore in our country’s history, it was an area that was created entirely for the recreational pursuits of the people of this nation. The legislation that established this area states clearly that any area that is needed and adaptable for recreational use “is to be developed for such uses as needed”. But the Park Service and the assorted environmental groups; again, without the ability to show that access to this seashore is harming wildlife, are attempting to remove you and me from this sand all together. Not only is this unjustified, but it is illegal as well.
Otter tracks, NPS will kill this animal if they can!
(authors note: these are actually Nutria tracks as properly identified by "Crotalus" but the animal will still meet the same fate as described above. Thanks Crot.
So far they’ve managed to get away with it to the detriment of not only the local economy as our recession started a year prior to the nations as a whole because of denied access, but also to those who chose to visit these pristine, user maintained beaches.
I’m asking again.
We have an incredible array of issues to deal with here that will ultimately only be resolved in a Federal court which will cost a lot of money. Then again, what part of our government doesn’t cost us an arm and a leg? This time though, it’s about your right to access your Seashore, with your family, as well as the future of literally thousands of residents of the Islands. What is scary, especially for anybody that lives near any public lands, is that if this cannot be successfully challenged, be it only for a lack of funds, the people of this nation will lose access to much of the entire national park system. If you take the time, do the research as I and many others have done as a part of this fight to regain our rightful, congressionally mandated access to this Seashore, and you will find what I say is the truth.
So I’m asking everyone that reads this post to venture to http://www.obpa.org/ to have a glance at the issues and to donate what you can to this fight to save this amazing place for those of us who have the astounding pleasure of visiting these beaches. Time is running short and we need all the help we can muster which is why I just became a life member of OBPA and essentially donated 25 years of dues in one fell swoop. I don’t expect anyone to follow that lead nor would I ask, but please do help. If you are an American citizen, and you enjoy the ability to explore the areas set aside by the Congress for you to visit, please donate to this most worthy and noble cause.
Donations which will assist our fight are easily accomplished via the OBPA website link above through mailing or PayPal. Memberships can be acquired and of interest to many is the OBPA calendar which features prizes many times a week to include free boat charters, vacation house rentals, fishing tackle and a whole host of other things which have all been donated by private individuals and businesses that are part of the Island community. Not to mention, it’s a beautiful calendar with great pictures from the Seashore.
Well, this has been one long post; but for a good reason. I hope everybody that reads it will send a few bucks to help fight the fight. For those that have never ventured this far south when you visit the “OBX”, you have no idea what you are missing.
If you choose to join this fight by donating, please let me know here or on facebook so I can thank you personally and remember, please, that this is your fight also as this is YOUR Seashore!
Incidentally, OBPA is a 501 (c) non-profit entity and any and all donations are tax deductible. I would also like to point out that not one single person fighting for access to this Seashore is on any payroll excepting of course the attorneys hired to provide you and me a chance to preserve these beaches for future generations.
We will continue to work for access and much is in the works so keep the faith, it’s worth it!