2002-08-10 / Letters

Who Owns The Ocean?

Who Owns The Ocean?

Who owns the ocean? Does it belong to the city of NY? The surfers have been a part of Rockaway Beach forever. They certainly enhance our beach by the grace and symmetry of their sport. Their right to surf is being undermined by the city government because of litigation pending due to the very unfortunate drowning of three girls in Far Rockaway last year. Because of negligence on the part of their guardians, the surfers are forbidden to go into the water before a lifeguard comes on duty. It is my guess all the surfers are better swimmers than the lifeguards. Some of them hold lifeguard certification and use the buddy system.

Saturday morning when I went for a walk, I saw a lot of people conducting a Baptism in the ocean. This was about 7:00 A.M. No lifeguards, no police, no tickets. They had on long robes, which in my estimation could get very heavy and prevent them from swimming if they got caught up in the waves. When I expressed my concern to a person on the beach, he told me not to worry, that if they ran into trouble the surfers would help them out of the water. There were some surfers in the ocean. Last evening I was talking to a friend about the surfers. He told me that he didn’t know why, if the powers are so concerned about our beach, they allow women to fully undress on the beach. He and his grandson were swimming on Beach 98. When they came up to dry off there were women taking off their suits (no towels here) and putting on their clothes. I guess they have their rights. My friend and his grandson did not. His grandson was subject to degenerate behavior of other people. I heard of another man who was prevented from using his metal detector on the beach. He was told he was mining. This is too weird.

If the city wants to give out tickets, what about the litter bugs, the dog walkers who don’t pick up, the illegally parked cars, the noise pollution from blaring boom boxes.

Our rights to enjoy the beach are being taken away little by little so we won’t notice until it is too late. If you want to cook a frog don’t put it in hot water, it will jump right out, put it in cold water and just put on a low heat. Thus you have cooked frog. They have us on simmer. Our rights are being taken away.

I want to express thanks to Joe Addabbo. He stood up.

Who owns the ocean?


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