As I sit typing this letter, I am enjoying a view of Winthrop Beach from my porch. What I see is a beach much enhanced from the one I knew when I bought my house 19 years ago. At that time, the beach was a small expanse of silty gray sand covered with rocks and pebbles. Now we enjoy a beach restored and renewed with the help of the Department of Conservation and Recreation, which has built jetties and replenished the sand.
In addition to the efforts to protect the endangered plovers, as the law requires, the DCR is helping to recreate the dunes and sea grass, natural boundaries that help prevent ocean overflow. The dunes that are beginning to flourish don’t just provide habitat for the plovers; they help protect the fragile ecosystem of the beach and houses like mine, which are close to the shoreline.
I don’t think Lawrence Harmon appreciated how Winthrop Beach has changed when he wrote “Move over, plover; beach is for people,” which called for another defeat for wildlife and natural habitats. What I see is a picture of cooperation and accommodation, and a small beach coming back as a thing of beauty.