It’s worth the price

Published 5:55 pm Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Those who live here, whether their entire lives or for just a short time, have something in common. Those who visit here, once, twice or many times, also share the sentiment. Beaufort County and the towns within are special — yes, because of centuries of history; because of the people who chose to make this place home; because of their spirit of volunteerism and more.

But it is the county’s unique landscape that makes this place memorable, from its marshes to its fields that stretch to the horizon — a landscape carved by a river that cuts straight through the county.

In years past, Whichard’s Beach, Hawkins Beach, Griffin’s Beach and more gave everyone access to the river, but those days are long gone. As more people began buying waterfront property to build both summer and permanent residences there became less opportunity for river access for everyone else.

There’s no right or wrong in that. It simply is. However, preserving the few places that do offer access, as well as creating more access when opportunity arises, is a good thing. It’s fallen to the government to do so, with Goose Creek State Park, and a number of boat ramps, piers and boardwalks, some already developed, such as the fishing pier and boat ramp on Blounts Creek, and others in the works, such as the county and North Carolina Wildlife Resources partnered project at Wright’s Creek.

It’s not simply the existence of the river that makes this place different. It is access: the ability to stroll next the river, sit on its sandy shore, dip a toe in, take a boat, kayak or paddleboard out in a variety of places. Rather than simply looking at the water, as is the case with many popular harbors such as Charleston, Baltimore and Wilmington, people here can experience it directly. Those efforts to continue to create such opportunities should be applauded.

Should some complain that tax dollars shouldn’t be used for “frivolous” purchases, those people should be encouraged to think about how preserving water access whenever possible benefits not only this generation of taxpayers but many generations of taxpayers to come.

In the long run, it’s worth the price.