Overzealous Memorial

May 10, 2017

To the Editor:

I am writing this letter in reference to an issue I created by an overzealous dune project I undertook. My apologies to Long Beach Township for “crossing the line.” 

On 23rd Street in Spray Beach, I constructed a memorial to my cousin, Spc. Benjamin Patrick Moore, who was killed in the line of duty on Jan. 12, 2011 at age 23. An outstanding citizen and soldier, his life was cut short due to an IED explosion that killed him instantly.

Not serving myself, I felt inclined to show some respect with a picture, cloth flags and a seashell American flag, along with 10,000 pieces of dune grass, 10 bayberry trees, eight pine trees and an assortment of scavenged local flora to shore up a desolate landscape left from Superstorm Sandy. Also included were over 150 piling butts I had gotten, with permission, from many of the new construction projects going on in my immediate area over the winter.                                     

Not taking into consideration the large amount debris that would be let loose in a storm, I created a dangerous situation. Immediately upon receiving notice of this fact, I dismantled the entire structure by day’s end. The plants I left for rebuilding of the dune.

Looking at a pile of 2,000-plus pounds of 6-inch to 4-foot piling butts, I wondered: What am I going to do with these piling butts? Social media! I posted on various sites “free pilings” and believe it or not, by 8 p.m. that night there literally was one piece of piling left.                            

I was barely able to comprehend that dozens of people looking for landscape and garden materials took most of it. Also, I realized I had saved thousands of pounds of wood that was destined for a landfill. I wondered if contractors would be willing to save space in their Dumpsters and drop these piling cutoffs at a local township area for just such a use? I could have given away twice if not three times the amount that was taken.                                                         

Anyway, I have learned my lesson and to “stay off the dunes.” There have to be regulations or everyone would clutter the beach entrances until a South of the Border/P.T. Barnum look would tarnish the natural appearance of LBI’s shoreline.     

Sorry again for inconvenience I caused Long Beach Township. Arghh!

Randy D. Brown

Spray Beach




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