Sunday, July 12, 2015

The National Seashore Beach belongs to all of us.....on foot.

An open letter to anyone who loves the National Seashore Beach in Eastham,

As a long-time resident of Eastham, in a location which overlooks Nauset Marsh and Coast Guard Beach, I would like to express my dismay at the prospect that, contrary to Eastham's bylaws, vehicles may be allowed to drive on Eastham's portion of Coast Guard/Nauset Beach. While others in Orleans may bemoan the closure of the vehicular access at the Eastham line, I applaud it. The spit belongs to all of us, on foot or by boat...not exclusively to Orleans residents who want to drive on Eastham's section of the fragile spit.

Granted, I have a vested interest in seeing the pristine sand spit remain free from the hoards of vehicles that populated it before Eastham enforced its bylaw against vehicles on the beach last year. For over 28 years we have looked out from Historic Fort Hill in the National Seashore to much the same seascape that was witnessed by Captain Edward Penniman in the early 1900's. It is a rare and lovely sight to see... the rolling farm fields, marsh, sand dunes and ocean in their natural form, with walking beachgoers,  picnickers, fisherman and boaters enjoying the serenity of the spot.

Contrast that with the view (after the break moved further north) of the same section of beach in Eastham , populated with vehicles from Orleans. 

The portion of beach shown in both photos above is in Eastham as seen from Fort Hill. When the “break” was further south, several year ago, there was a long section of Eastham's beach north of the break; ALL visitors and residents of Cape Cod had access to the beach and “break”, by foot or by boat. The historic view from Fort Hill was serene.

When Mother Nature shifted the sands to move the break further north several years ago, Eastham's access to its own beach became limited to boat access only, and encroachers in cars and trucks from Orleans moved onto the spit, claiming ownership. The historic view is destroyed....the beach became a parking lot for Orleans residents.

The beach in question is in Eastham. Eastham has a bylaw prohibiting vehicular access, preserving one of the most precious scenic views in the National Seashore. The National Seashore and Eastham are in vehicles on the Eastham section of Nauset Spit.