Whose beach is it anyway?

PALM BEACH — Sometimes I wonder if this town was founded just  to prove that money don’t care who owns it. Now that island officials spent a good portion of the $2 million it set aside to defend its plan to put dirt on its beach, I would like to tell you about my recent stroll along the town’s shore.

To clarify the issue, divers, anglers and surfers are against the idea of dredging offshore silt to bolster the beach because they say it kills the very things they like about the beach. The town is for it, because it adds a little more buffer between the next hurricane and their very expensive property. Neighboring Lake Worth is against it because it has a public beach that people actually use.

Palm Beachers, not so much it seems. In fact, on hearing a stretch of beach was unsafe for swimmers recently, a town council member suggested the solution of raising the parking rate to $40 at Phipps Ocean Park’s lot — one of the few places from which Palm Beach sands are accessible to anyone but property owners. As it is, it is $2 an hour, a fee that discourages non-islanders from bringing the grills and the radios and making themselves at home for the day.

I figured I could afford a walk there, and at that price decided to treat myself to a stroll north, on the part that has been augmented with the same stuff the town is fighting for the right to put on the stretch south.

It is a pleasant stretch, in that no one is there, almost no one ever goes there, so there isn’t much litter strewing the sand. Then again there isn’t much sand, either, the last lot they put there having washed away in a storm a short time later.

There is rock — town officials prefer we not call it hard-bottom, because that sounds too much like something that should be protected from having dirt dumped on it, but whatever it is, one has to walk carefully.

I tried, but if I wanted to stare at my own feet I could stay at home and lie in the hammock.

In any case I didn’t notice a spike sticking out of the sand, so I impaled my foot on it.

I then limped back about a mile through seawater, leaving a red trail behind my right foot.

And for the next mile I passed stairs leading to the road above, which had signs on them saying “no trespassing,” and had padlocked gates at the top.

Which leads me to wonder — whose beach is it anyway?


There are no comments on this post.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: