Friday, April 01, 2016

Record Editorial Omits Global Ocean Level Rise, St. Augustine National Historical Park and National Seashore Proposal

Imagine a St. Augustine WReckord editorial on beaches and sand omitting preparations for global ocean level rise, such as adoption of the St. Augustine National Historical Park and National Seashore Act.

"I hate shallowness."
-- Hal Holbrook, as Washington Post confidential source "Deep Throat" on Watergate investigation, later revealed to be Mark Felt, FBI Associate Director, in "All the President's Men."

Once again showing shrieking shallowness, the Record emitted a superficial, supercilious, silly editorial on beaches.

No mention of global ocean level rise.

No mention of the proposed St. Augustine National Historical Park and National Seashore.

One source -- the usual number of sources for recent stupid Record editorials (whether Sheriff DAVID SHOAR, ex-Judge ROBERT KEITH MATHIS, or NANCY SIKES-KLINE.

Is the Record a failing newspaper that lacks the talent to write a decent editorial?

This is hysterical.

Editorial: Beach feeling 'demand for sand'
Posted: April 1, 2016 - 12:22am

St. Johns County Assistant Director of Parks and Recreation Billy Zeits tells it straight. On county beaches, the bottom line is “demand exceeds capacity.” And nothing’s on the horizon to slow that down, absent ecological locust swarms such as a red tide that runs people off the beaches or a hurricane that removes it out from under them.

To the contrary, the demand for the sand is growing.

So, for the county it’s not about fixing the problem, but managing it. And management alternatives are basically baby steps.

To compound the difficulty, the beach “problems” are a constantly moving target because our beaches are, well, constantly moving — crawling north or south, expanding eastward or constricting westward.

The county is looking at off-beach parking to let the pressure off a little. But charging more for the negligible off-beach parking available is likely to have little effect overall. If there were room for 1,000 feet of new parking — which there isn’t — it would be too expensive for a parking lot and a drop in the bucket when you consider that we have 12 miles of drivable, parkable beach that can fill up before noon during the summer months.

While parking gets the attention, there are other issues on the beaches and all cost money — from the lifeguards to the toll-takers to the garbage collection and general beach cleanup.

The most recent baby step is an experiment in recycling. The county will be replacing the garbage cans this year and labeling them differently. It’s hopping aboard what it expects to become a nationwide movement called Recycling Across America. The goal is to standardize the color, scale and labeling of trash containers in order to make it easier for users to note the difference between recycling bins and trash bins — and to use them accordingly. Zeits says it’s an effort at managing a cost as efficiently as possible. And it’s about public awareness. The program’s big selling point, if you look at its Web info, is that Disney World has signed on to the program. And that’s a heap of garbage — estimated at 60 tons a day.

Certainly beachgoers here aren’t stuffing anywhere near that amount in the beach receptacles. But every ton of recyclables that end up in the correct bin saves the county $57 not paying to put it in the landfill.

And if the side-by-side, brightly colored, correctly labeled receptacles alert beachgoers to them, thus getting more trash off the beaches — whether trash or recyclables — there’s another upside. The substantial litter that’s either blown into the Atlantic by offshore winds and afternoon thundershowers or sucked into the surf by receding tides, won’t end up on the beaks of pelicans or in the bellies of sea turtles.

For the thousands of hatchlings that emerge from nests dug on our beaches and then face a gauntlet of natural enemies, reducing one we cause may be more than a baby step.

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