Well worth the asking price

Published 5:34 pm Saturday, August 10, 2013

Friday, we saw the official opening of the Blounts Creek Boating Access Area, a place where anyone with a hankering can launch a boat, sit by the side of the creek or take a fishing pole to the waters from the safety of a fishing pier.

There were plenty of people attending the short ribbon-cutting ceremony — officials with North Carolina Wildlife Resources, with the county, area residents — and the spirit of cooperation was strong in the air. It took the county and the state working together to give a little slice of what already belongs to the people back to the people.

The Pamlico River splits Beaufort County in half — toward the eastern part of the county, sometimes it’s all you can see. Unfortunately, for most people who live here, the river and its tributaries fall under the “look but don’t touch” classification.

Up and down the Pamlico River and its creeks, there are plenty of people with water access. But many, many, others can’t afford a house on the water. Their only remaining way to interact with the river and its wildlife, which are such an important part of Beaufort County’s identity, is to rely on public access areas: Goose Creek State Park, Dinah’s Landing, Havens Gardens, Belhaven’s, Washington’s and Aurora’s waterfronts.  

Waterfront property is a huge commodity and the land the Blounts Creek Boating Access Area likely went for a pretty penny. But if its purchase and subsequent makeover into something all residents can enjoy, it was well worth the asking price.

By partnering with the state to open one more public access to the river, our commissioners should be commended for putting the best interests of all their constituents ahead of the dollar sign.