Dear Summer Visitors
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Dear Summer Visitors

An open letter from a local yokel

Dear Summer Visitors

Dear Summer Visitors,

I’m sure you’re as happy as I am that summer is here again: the long grey winter can really be draining, and there’s nothing like a little bit of sun and sand to perk you up again. Since summer is just around the corner, I know I’ll being seeing you again soon. That being said, there are a few pieces of advice I’d like to give:

Please don’t litter. I want you guys to have a great time, but please remember that we live here year round. When at the beach, the boardwalk, the parks, and just out and about in general, please be cautious about where your trash is going. You may be leaving in a few days/weeks, but your trash is here to stay. I love the beach, but nothing makes me see red more than trash spoiling a blue ocean or cigarette butts in the sand. Plastic wrappers are detrimental to all of the animals in the area, and biodiversity is very important!

Similarly, to the summer visitors who have houses but complain about the dunes: please be kind to our local ecosystems! The dunes are a vital part of a coastal ecosystem because they prevent flooding and storm damage to the land, and serve as habitats for many other creatures. I know that the dunes may block your ocean view for the couple of weeks or months you may live among us, but they are worth it; trust me. Also, it is major hassle for us to not be able to park on the beach blocks. I understand it may be your street, but please try to understand that many people are trying to park to go to work and NOT to have fun, and it is much harder to find a spot within a reasonable walking distance. Though it may not have been you to establish the beach-block rule, please understand that it is very frustrating for us local-yokels trying to get to work.

Speaking of that, please remember to be kind to the locals working their butts off during the season. Restaurants, boardwalk shops, lifeguards, and amusement park employees basically run around like their hair is on fire from May until September trying to get all customers/guests taken care of. It’s tiring, and they are doing their best. If you have to wait a bit or something doesn’t go exactly your way, please try to be patient, ESPECIALLY if it’s a younger student who may or may not be working their very first job. We’ve all been there, and we all need to start from somewhere!

Please don’t feed the seagulls. I know you may think it’s cool, but I see these birds year round (in NJ at least), and they are vicious rats with wings that will not leave you nor anyone in the surrounding area alone if they think they can get the tiniest morsel of your pizza or sandwich. I’ve seen seagulls dive-bomb pizzas, land on children’s heads to snatch their sandwiches, and flat out LAND in my boyfriend’s ice cream cone. Don’t feel bad for them and feed them. Trust me.

Safety first: wear sunscreen, if you are going to be near the jetty (the big rock formations) PLEASE be careful because they are slippery, don’t swim on un-guarded beaches or after you have been drinking, and know how to watch out for rip currents. Many locals and visitors alike fall victim to these; don’t be one of them.

Finally, one last piece of advice: you don’t need that whole cart. It doesn’t bother me whether or not you take your huge caravan of stuff or not, I’m just trying to be helpful! All you really need is one bag for a towel or two, sunscreen (VERY important), wallet, music player/book, a sandwich, and maybe a chair and a Frisbee. It’s much easier to carry around. At the beach, you really don’t need much.

That being said, I’m sure I’ll be seeing you all around soon enough!


A Jersey Shore Local

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