Sarah is a 23 year old art teacher from Long Island, New York. She grew up 30 minutes from the Long Island Sound, and frequently visits the south shore’s beaches as well, from Long Beach to Montauk.
How have you seen the beaches on Long Island change in your time here since you were a kid?
“Well, the beaches definitely have gotten smaller. They used to extend a couple of hundred yards from the parking lots down to the shoreline, but now it seems like there’s barely room for all of the people, especially in the Summer. It also seems like there’s been a lot more construction going on and dredging projects since Hurricane Sandy a couple years ago. The beaches really just don’t look as natural anymore, it seems more like we’re trying too hard to undo all of the natural erosion, and it isn’t working very well.”
Do you think the beaches have become more crowded since you were young?
“Definitely, it seems like more and more people are coming out to Long Island in the Summers, and it kind of sucks. You can tell that people go to just about every stretch of beach on the Island, even the nature sanctuaries, because of all the garbage they leave behind. Some of these protected areas are meant to be clean and free of our impact, but even on these beaches I always see plastic garbage and disrespectful people. I would say that the garbage on Long Island’s beaches in general has become worse since I was young. There’s also a lot of graffiti on the rocks at some of the North Shore beaches, and it looks pretty bad in my opinion.”
What’s one thing that you think people can do better when they go to the beach.
“Don’t crawl all over the dunes, or let your kids roll down them like it’s a slip-and-slide.”