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Surfing Soapbox: We all need access to the ocean

January 13, 2011|By James Pribram

Awakening to clear, calm and breathless blue skies this morning, I once again had the same enthusiasm as a 15-year-old boy who grew up on the beach. I just couldn't wait until it was warm enough to hit the waves. Twenty-five years later I'm happy to say it really is no different of a feeling for me.

The beach will forever be my world, my church, my everything; it has always been the one constant path in my life. My mom likes to call me Peter Pan sometimes and that's OK, maybe I am a big kid. It doesn't really matter to me because the beach has always had a deeper meaning and I have always believed that I have a deeper connection to it.

And I know, just as I believe this to be true. There are many others who feel the same about days like this, who just can't wait to hit the beach, no matter what they have planned. I have always believed that our beaches are another extension of playgrounds for everyone to enjoy, young and old.

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It's an escape that is healthy and more often than not in a direction away from drugs and violence. A great alternative for those kids who don't have access to after-school programs or organized sports. We can't keep taking away the playgrounds of the world.

We have to find better alternatives and solutions for these problems that are plaguing our beaches. Rather than just continuing to put more and more restrictions on things like fishing, which in turn only take more and more freedoms away from those who need it the most. We need to care for our beaches and oceans. Stop the littering and pollution.

The time is now that we start cleaning up our own lives on land, because if we don't do that first then everything else is for naught.

Peace.

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