Quest enhances lives of Lewes residents
This letter is in response to Clarence Lucas’ letter to the editor titled “Lewes Beach commercialization must stop.” I felt compelled to respond since one of his central arguments was that no residents of Lewes want Quest Adventures to remain on Lewes Beach. As a fellow resident, I can tell you this assertion simply isn’t true. There are dozens of residents who I know personally who fully support having Quest Adventures on Lewes Beach, including my family. Allow me to offer a different point of view on the subject.
First, we must recognize that living within the City of Lewes comes with great privilege. Privilege which includes access within minutes to glorious tidal marshes, the Delaware Bay, the Atlantic Ocean, Cape Henlopen State Park, vast bike paths and so much more. We must remain self-aware that we are a part of a select few who can afford to live here and, therefore, have an obligation to share all of these gifts with the broader community around us.
Quest is a small business run by a local entrepreneur who is extremely hardworking and committed to Lewes. His family history dates back generationally here, and he has personally mucked around on these beaches since he was a wee one. Because of this, Quest Adventures has given back to the city in multiple ways which the owner is too modest to bring up. In his mind, it’s just what you do as a good neighbor. As an example, Quest Adventures launched its own foundation focused on providing beach accessibility to the disabled and elderly. This nonprofit has raised the funds for beach-accessible wheelchairs and beach mats making it possible for our residents and visitors with mobility issues to enjoy our beaches. We need to support our local, small businesses and entrepreneurial undertakings in order to strengthen the services and experiences that will continue to enrich our residents’ lives for now and in the future.
In addition, the value provided by Quest Adventures goes above and beyond beach gatherings and sports rentals. The employees of Quest Adventures are cleaning trash left by others off our beaches on a daily basis. And, several times a year they assist in saving the lives of distressed swimmers and those experiencing serious health issues on the beach.
It’s important to note that prior to getting approval for a beach shack location on Lewes Beach, Quest Adventures was driving up and down Cedar Avenue all day bringing kayaks, chairs and SUPs to the beach for clients. Practically speaking, does it really make sense for this small business owner to spend his days endlessly running individual products up the road to renters who have requested things like kayaks, chairs and SUPs? Do we really want to be adding to the congestion, parking and carbon-emission issues that already exist? It is infinitely more efficient and effective for Quest Adventures to be on-site at the beach to help customers, answer their questions, get them off to a good start, and help them if they run into trouble. For those of you with the location, resources and space to own all of this equipment on your own, good for you! Quest Adventures probably doesn’t fit into your need/want list. However, Quest Adventures offers wholesome family fun and outdoor activities that attract young, active families to the beach. Many of whom may not have the resources to afford such things. We need to encourage this so that our youth form a strong connection to our environment. Why? Because they will be the future we can count on for its ultimate protection.
Unfortunately, Clarence Lucas’ letter lacks consideration for the broader community and is exclusionary in nature. Our future depends on opening the tent wider, not restricting it. We need young people to grow up here and choose to stay because the community is vibrant and flourishing with jobs, education, activities and acceptance. Some of the young people of today who get a taste of all of the wonders this environment offers will (hopefully) be the young adults who decide to live here and make it all shine. Let’s not degrade into nitpicking and diminishing the futures of those who are choosing to stay in their community and help it be what it can be. Lastly, I want to close by pointing out that there wasn’t a single negative side effect cited within Clarence Lucas’s original letter caused by Quest Adventures, such as noise complaints or leftover trash. It was simply an opinion presented that we shouldn’t have commercial businesses on the beach. Respectfully, I strongly disagree.