This I Believe – We Should Protect Our Nation’s Barrier Islands.

June 1, 2009
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We have destroyed so much of our national shoreline for tourism, it is important that we preserve what we have left such as the Assateague Island State park. There are three main reasons why we should continue to preserve this land.

The first reason is that it is a great natural classroom for children to learn about sea life and respecting wild terrain. Assateague Island is an island just off the coast of Maryland that is home to all different types of wildlife including wild horses. It is believed that the horses swam ashore from a Spanish shipwreck and have been there ever since. A child going to this area has to learn to respect and keep their distance from these horses because they are not afraid to bite or kick. However, standing there, feeling the warm breeze as a herd of wild horses gallop down the beach, you hear the thunder of their hooves hitting the wet sand and learn to truly respect their power. Though conservation programs such as the Jr. Rangers, we can continue to teach children about the importance of Barrier Islands. Programs such as canoeing on the bays, cleaning up the beaches, watching movies and telling about the history of the islands pass this information though generations and continue to spread the passion for persevering this area.
The second reason to preserve these islands is that they are incredible places for families to go for vacation. Though theses islands are for all most part entirely undeveloped, they are a great place to camp. Families and friends spend time together worrying about nothing more then weather to tan on their front or back today. This helps to get families out of the rush of normal everyday lives and enjoy spending time together. An example day camping at Assateague includes waking up at 10 to your uncle making breakfast and shooing seagulls away from the stove, then spending time napping on the beach waking up to the crashing of the waves and your aunt making PB and J’s. After lunch has settled you would spending time swimming with your cousins or sitting in a semi circle with family telling jokes and sometimes embellished stories. Sometime between 4-8 o’clock people start to migrate back to the campsites for dinner usually made by your parents, aunts, uncles, cousins, friends and anyone else that might have come to join all working together. Dinner is then usually followed by your grandfather’s amazing peach cobbler. The rest of the night is then spent sitting around a campfire singing songs, play euchre and telling ghost stories. This family atmosphere creates lifelong memories that are shared by generation and a passion to preserving these lands.

The third reason to preserve these areas is that is protects the mainland coastline. Without islands such as Assateague and Chicateague, the mainline coast would be destroyed by storms. Every winter these islands endure terrible storms that fill the few buildings with as much as 5 feet of sand, destroy the dunes and erode the beach. Without the help of conservationist rebuilding the dunes and repairing the beaches it would be impossible for these islands to have survived this long.
As you can see, it is very important to preserve these areas not only because they are a great classroom for students to learn about the importance of wildlife and respect for wild terrain. But they are also great places for families to get together and share a good time. These landmasses are also important to protect the coastline of the mainland United States. As a child there is nothing better then digging holes in your giant sandbox and as you grow you learn to appreciate the importance of maintaining these national treasures. We must protect these barrier islands – this I believe.





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