Dec 16 2014

Banning Shovels on the Beach?

Building sandcastles is a rite of passage for almost every kid who has ever spent time on Edisto Beach, but that soon could be a thing of the past.

The powers that be on Edisto Beach are toying with an idea to create an ordinance banning shovels on the beach. This would be done for a multitude of reasons, which include protecting sea turtles during nesting season and helping vacationers not fall into holes while walking on the beach.

Protecting the sea turtles is important. That is why beach visitors are already not allowed to leave anything behind on the beach – for example, umbrellas, canopies, volleyball nets, and other items must be taken down every day to prevent turtles from unnecessary hazards.

Because the loggerheads are a protected species, Edisto Beach goes the extra mile to protect them. That is why lights must be out May-October, items are taken off the beach, and holes must be filled in. When turtles are distracted on the beach or come across foreign objects, many times they will release their eggs and go back into the water. This means hundreds of sea turtles never get the chance to hatch and the number of loggerheads in this world diminishes.

As for individuals tripping in holes dug on the beach, well, that is something that cannot necessarily be prevented. After all, everyone trips every now and then, but most times local governments don’t find a way to ban things that cause tripping.

The idea to ban shovels on Edisto Beach and keep the digging of the sand to a minimum has yet to become a law – and most likely won’t become a law – but if it does, we will keep you posted.

It would be interesting to see how this ordinance would be enforced and to see if the digging ban would extend past shovels. Would dogs be prohibited from digging holes in the sand? Would sand crabs and other marine life need a permit to burrow under the beach?

The answers to those questions remain to be seen.

 

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