Editorial: Disrespectful Horse Riders Leave Manure On Beach

By / Editorials / الثلاثاء, 28 شباط/فبراير 2017 05:00

By WILLARD KILLOUGH III
Managing Editor

The Town of Carolina Beach permits horseback riding on the beach within Freeman Park, but not on the beach strand within Town limits. There are rules in place. Ordinances that riders should already be aware of and if not, should be forced to become educated through a permit process. That ensures irresponsible riders can't claim, "I didn't know" about the rules. Last week the Town of Carolina Beach had to send some employees out to pick up horse manure from the beach front because some irresponsible horse owners/riders road down the beach and left piles of horse excrement for our residents and visitors to dodge during their daily walk.

(See report on page 1-A...)

Residents reported the incident - which occurred on February 20th - to Town officials.
They likely unloaded the horses from a trailer in a parking lot near the entrance to Freeman Park at the end of Canal Drive, rode into the park onto the beach and then proceeded to ride south - out of the park boundaries - and down the beach strand.

That's a violation, but it would almost go unnoticed had they picked up the manure left behind by their horses.
Disrespectful and irresponsible. Total disregard for our coastal environment. Sure, we've got seagulls, pelicans and other creatures that do leave their waste on the beach, but I've yet to see a pelican leave behind large balls or piles of manure up and down the beach. There's a big difference.

Hopefully this was a one time event, but the solution to prevent this from happening in the future is to require anyone wishing to ride a horse on the beach in Freeman Park to read a detailed set of rules and sign a contract saying they will in fact pay $1,000 per pile of manure. And then watch them either flee the area or ensure someone walks behind them with a bag and shovel.  And for people who don't get a permit, $1,000 for each violation and $1,000 for failing to obtain a permit. Announce that requirement on a large sign at the entrance so absolutely no one can claim, "I had no idea..."

It's already bad enough that many dog owners aren't responsible enough to pick up their pet's waste and that's another topic the Town Council is currently tackling. They want to be more flexible in permitting people to walk their dogs on the beach during the summer months, but also identify that enforcement is already an issue without relaxing the rules. Their answer, to hire additional personnel to patrol the beach to enforce the rules. Give warnings first and then write tickets when people don't listen the first time.  Should generate enough revenue through fines to pay those employees because there's never a shortage of people who think they're above the rules or simply will not get caught.

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