A blog about living in Aberdeen, New Jersey.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Flotsam and Jetsam

After the big clean up day at Cliffwood Beach the other day, a few people are apparently inspired to be concerned about year round cleaning of the shoreline. That's nice, but, if you will pardon the maritime expression, there is such a thing as going overboard.

The Independent has run an article that makes a visit to the local shoreline sound like a life-threatening experience. It's not. First of all, Cliffwood is a natural beach, not a swimming beach or Disney World, so don't come with a boogie board and a towel. There will be a dead creature in the surf from time to time. Seaweed. And, unfortunately, there can be flotsam and jetsam from area boaters.

It sounds to me like the briefing at the beach clean up day on the need for wearing gloves to avoid pin pricks got the better of some folks. I haven't seen a drug needle at the shore in thirty years of living here. Some broken glass, yes, but mostly along the seawall from neighborhood kids breaking up their beer bottles from night time soirees. And that's been less of a problem in recent years for some reason.

It is nice to read about the programs for keeping our shore clean and safe, but don't make the beachfront out to be some sort of menace to the public welfare. Enjoy our beach, but recognize that you are visiting a natural beach in one of the most densely populated metropolitan areas in America.


  1. If the media didn't scare people with dirty beaches and swine flu, they would not have jobs any more. I would like to see Cliffwood Beach a little cleaner. Union Beach did a great job with there beach.

  2. Union Beach and Lawrence Harbor have both done nice jobs fixing up the beach front. Cliffwood Beach has those dunes and seagrass. Aberdeen has the experience of Hurricane Donna, which utterly destroyed a commercially built-up shoreline. I suppose the local government is reluctant to drink from that cup again. They also don't have any extra money. Remember, they were trying to borrow from the library to pay the bills this year. I agree that the shoreline could be cleaned of floatables from boaters and visitors' trash a bit more frequently. I'm just bothered by the Independent painting a picture of dirty needles and condoms adorning our shores. That sort of thing feeds into the thinking of those who think CB is a dangerous place.