Once again, our community awaited word on whether or not we would be obtaining money for beach replenishment from the president’s proposed budget. Once again, the door slammed in our collective face.
The Bethany Beach/South Bethany replenishment projects are again reduced to lighting a figurative candle in hopes that the House and Senate can muster up enough support to include some replenishment funds in the negotiation phase of finalizing the budget.
Haven’t we heard this song before?
Sure, we understand the need for funds to be allocated to the Gulf region in next year’s budget to help try and return that area to normalcy. That makes complete sense. But the song and dance over beach replenishment funds that has gone on under both the Bush and Clinton adminstrations is unsettling for those of us living near the coast.
The government was originally formed to protect our borders, make laws and enforce those laws. Our beaches would appear to be as much of a natural border as one could find, but they still get used as a bargaining tool rather than treated as natural resources that must be protected.
Forget for a second the aesthetic pleasures of beautiful coastlines, as well as the economic impact they provide to regions like our own, and just concentrate on the defense and protection healthy beaches provide in case of a bad storm. Let’s face it, we’re due for one.
Yes, the towns, counties and states should contribute to maintaining the beaches — probably more so than they do currently. But the federal government also needs to do what they were established to do and that’s protect our borders.
This is not a request for extraneous simplicities that so often get passed. This is for real.