"There’s lot at stake by taking care of beach business" by: Mike Reddell

   A recent trip to Matagorda Beach for MaLinda and I brought back the reality for me that no matter how beautiful nature may seem, people will try to spoil it. 
   We arrived on the Memorial Day weekend shortly before noon at Jetty Park and saw a worker collecting bags of garbage that already were piling up. 
   As we walked to the beach through the dunes, we started to see empty water bottles and soda cans. 
   There was nothing long-ago discarded about this – the refuse was recent. 
   There are two types of visitors to the beach – or any other outdoor attraction – those who care and those who don’t. 
   Think of that, to litter you have to consciously toss an empty object onto the sand. 
   And then forget it. 
   Then consider the thousands who come to Matagorda and Sargent beaches. 
   The county has the obligation to provide trash containers and visitors have the obligation to treat the gulf, beaches, stabilized or dead dunes and marshes with respect. 
   I don’t like to think that local residents would leave their own beaches with litter and the indifference also must be held by those visiting here – guests, if you will.    
   Matagorda residents certainly believe the county could do more to ensure litter and trash are disposed and the surf sands graded – especially during the numerous soft-sand conditions. 
   The county also is on the hook to patrol the beaches and to check if vehicles have current beach permit stickers. 
   A frustrating process exists with the beach permits because the money goes into the county’s general fund, I’ve been told repeatedly. 
   Matagorda officials estimated there were 1,700 vehicles on Matagorda Beach during opening day. 
   At $10 a permit, that should come to $17,000 that day alone.  
   Multiply that over several weekend summer days and that equals real money. 
   The county should make a public accounting of the money collected and how much is spent on providing beach policing, permit enforcement and sales, cleaning the beach and grading the sands to make it passable. 
   In the meantime, company always is coming to the county’s two beaches. 
   We ought to put a best foot forward on what has to be the county’s premier tourist attraction. 
   For some residents in Matagorda, that fact should be front and center always – especially as the county and everyone else face difficult economic times ahead.  
   Besides, the seashore is a beautiful part of nature that doesn’t deserve to be dumped on. 

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