Fisherman encroaching on bathing beaches

July 28, 2014

As a frequent sunbathing user of the Gordons Pond beach, a portion of Cape Henlopen State Park, I have seen the predominance of vehicle fishing visitors increase over the last few years. This encroaches on the natural beauty, safety and sereneness of the bathing, swimming and surfing beach, where pets are also permitted.

About two years ago, the park officials extended the southern limits for driving and fishing on the Gordons Pond beach. This reduced the size and tranquility of the bathing beach. As a result, this brings vehicles closer to sunbathers, fishing lines closer to swimmers, and adds noise and pollution.

The beach is now more crowded with people and pets in its reduced size. Strollers walking north along the surf in the vehicle permitted area have a tortuous and unpleasant route to walk.

I also learned that last year the park administration, perhaps statewide, now permits fishing (without a vehicle) anywhere on any beach! I have witnessed persons with fishing poles and lines cast that can easily endanger swimmers and strollers along the surf edge, and limits their places to enjoy the beach.

Allowing vehicles that are not fishing on the beach will cause even worse problems with congestion and environmental impact, and park maintenance costs will increase.

If non-fishing vehicles must be allowed, there should not be any increase in beach area to accommodate this bad idea.

Bob Kaplan
Rehoboth Beach

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