2012-10-19 / Letters

Dumb Proposal

Dear Editor,

In this week’s Beachcomber I read that Floyd Smith is suggesting that the Parks Department close the beaches on the east end of Rockaway because of concerns about the strong rip current. Talk about throwing out the baby with the bath water! Why don’t we approach the problem in more constructive ways like supporting the Far Rockaway based Swimstrong Foundation, which provides low and no-cost swimming lessons to the community. How about installing floats at a reasonable distance from the shore to act as a lifeline for swimmers in distress until help arrives? These floats were standard fare from Beach 9 through Beach 17 Street when I was growing up. The children and adults who live in or visit Rockaway have a right to enjoy the ocean, all of it. It’s a large part of why we are here. We are already dealing with vast stretches of closed beaches because of the dreaded Piping Plover. There will always be a danger to swimming and most other activities in life, but instead of “closing the beaches entirely,” let’s take positive steps to make swimming safer.


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