2015-06-12 / Letters

Humans should let nature take its course

To the editor:

This photograph, taken in July 1961, is of me, I think on my first birthday, with my (deceased) brother Gregory. Our family house was on Edgewood Drive, which would be to the left of that trash barrel. The rock wall breakwater is covered with beach roses. The useable beach in this area is now much smaller than before.

What is missing from this photo? The beach grass is missing. I have an 8mm movie taken in 1940, showing exactly about the same place, of family and friends playing horseshoes, and it looks like there is about half the amount of grass that there is today.

In that video, one can also appreciate that there was none in front of the Tides Inn, and that one would take two steps down from the road into the beach. There was no path, just lots of sand.

According to family lore, and I would love to know if it is lore, the beach grass was not present at Goose Rocks Beach until planted toward the east part of the beach. It rapidly spread, engulfing the sand, and raising the level of the beach with the root system and soil.

I remember just a few stray plants; most worrisome were those sharp little plants that must have been thistles. My memory and images support that the grass comes and goes.

While the beach grass grows in sand, for the most part the other invasive plants do not. They need the soil deposited by the beach grass. In other words, the invasive species are flourishing because of the beach grass.

We are kidding ourselves however, about who the real interlopers are, quoting a recent Kennebunk Post article. The real interlopers are humans.

I think that we humans should try to let nature take its course, and if we could find out what the beach looked like 100 or more years ago, perhaps give a helping hand, perhaps even considering digging up the grass that has all but swallowed the beach since that photograph was taken.

Geoffrey Bove
Kennebunkport

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