Letters

Deeply Grateful

Jun 26, 2019

To Mayor Joe Mancini and those responsible:

Our family is deeply grateful and indebted to your decision to preserve the marshland between Beck and Rosemma avenues in Holgate. As many of us have made clear, we are convinced that its existence saved our block from complete devastation during Superstorm Sandy in 2012.

When the ocean breached the dunes, as it did in many places, the water had to go somewhere. Instead of our neighborhood, it found this natural drainage area. Unfortunately for the residents south of us, who no longer benefit from such natural marshes, there was nowhere for the water to go but in living rooms and cherished photo albums.

A startling amount of marshland on LBI has been filled in, paved over and developed within the last 30 years. This patch in Holgate is one of the very last to remain on the Island.

This moment should be a reminder to all of us who’ve called Long Beach Island home for generations, and for those of us who are brand new to the Island. Nothing lasts forever. We can be stubborn, often ignorant people, who feel we know best and have a handle on the world ... until the world awakens one October day and violently shakes us loose of these mirages.

Respect must be earned, especially with Mother Nature. The ocean always wins. All we can do is live harmoniously alongside her, in respect of what she can do.

We hope this instance of good will extends far beyond the near future. Many of the storm’s victims have since moved off the Island, taking with them the painful lessons of living on a giant sandbar. We welcome the new residents and bless their happiness with our own. But we also must be mindful that overdevelopment, inflated real estate schemes, and beach mansions with elevators, 20 bedrooms and the perks of ritzy coastal living are no substitutes for Mother Nature’s engineering marvels.

Marshlands serve an invaluable purpose. We sincerely hope our community leaders and residents understand that we are simply biding our time on this beautiful place. What we do to keep our happy paradise has as much to do with overcoming our own short-sighted ambitions as it does with actively keeping wildlife and marsh present.

We would like to thank the elected officials of Long Beach Township for recognizing these truths.

Adam Zielinski and family

Holgate

 

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