Time and time again, the issue of imperiled oceanfront homes comes up (“Erosion puts homes on the edge,” Metro, July 14). This time, upset Plum Island homeowners want taxpayers to rescue them from a natural ocean event. It is nothing short of preposterous to expect the government to foot the bill every time the sands shift.
There is nothing so transitory as sand. The term “shifting sands” has always been a metaphor for impermanence — something that changes often. It is impossible to predict the future of coastlines because sand is always at the mercy of the winds, tide, and currents.
Places like Florida and Cape Cod were formed by the movement of sand. Year end and year out, the US Army Corps of Engineers spends millions of dollars to pick up sand the sea has moved and place it back where homeowners want it. Anyone with common sense should never allow the expenditure of government dollars for a handful of coastal property owners. In this tough economy, dollars could be put to better use.
People who pay lots of money for property that is at the mercy of the sea cannot expect taxpayers to protect their expensive assets from nature forever. The “emergency” they complain of is a result of their own choices.