Think what you want about the "Jersey Shore" - but if it's negative, keep it to yourself. Sure, I remember going to Wildwood and Ocean City when I was a kid and I really wasn't impressed. My childhood memories of the "Shore" were lots of big, killer mosquitoes and huge, black, tarry globs of oil that stuck to my feet when I walked the Wildwood beach. I also remember seeing hospital waste roll in onto the Long Island Sound beaches of Connecticut. I've seen a seagull struggling with oil-slicked feathers in a harbor in Nova Scotia. Unfortunately, I know what a dirty ocean looks like.
While I sat by the sea in Brant Beach last week, I couldn't help thinking back to the dirty water I remembered in the 60's. As each clean blue wave seemed to stretch toward the shore in an exhale and pulled back as if to inhale, I found myself becoming sadder and sadder. Are we, as a human race, absolutely insane? To allow an accidental oil gush like the one set off by BP is like letting your toilet water feed your drinking water supply. Or having the exhaust from your car piped into the intake vent of your air conditioner.
I don't believe in scaring kids unnecessarily but I believe early education might help prevent situations like we have in the Gulf of Mexico. The tolerance level for carelessness with our planet needs to be zero. Let's get real - teaching little children to plant trees to provide oxygen is cute - but the bulk of our oxygen comes from plankton (small plants) floating in our oceans. The simple,frightening truth is that if our oceans "die", we die.
Our family had a beautiful week, spent jumping in the waves and sleeping to the sound of them crashing to the shore at night. A gift unappreciated, too easily and casually ruined.