American Elephants

Mockery is Probably the Best Response: by The Elephant's Child

Never fear, parents who fear for the safety of your children, The federal government, as represented by the fearless EPA is on the job.  They are working on new regulations about digging in the sand, building sandcastles, or burying body parts.

People usually take sunscreen when they go the beach, they stay away from big waves if they are not strong swimmers, but beach sand could contain more harmful bacteria than the beach water. EPA researchers and their counterparts at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and John Hopkins University found a positive relationship between sand exposure and gastrointestinal illnesses as a function of fecal microbial pollution in beach sand.

They collected 144 samples of wet sand from Fairhope Municipal Park Beach in Fairhope, Alabama and Goddard Memorial State Park Beach in Warwick RI. They asked 4,999 people who visited these beaches about their contact with wet sand. Both beaches are located less than 2 miles from an outflow from a publicly owned waste treatment-works outfall. Two weeks later they called participants and asked about any diarrhea, vomiting, nausea, and/or stomach ache that members of the household might have experienced. They also asked about any other activities since the initial interview, even including raw or undercooked foods. No sandcastles.

Los Angeles County has banned Frisbees, footballs, and any other object to cast, toss, throw, kick, or roll, except a beach ball or volleyball — upon or over any beach between Memorial Day and Labor Day.

The Board of Supervisors this week agreed to raise fines to up to $1,000 for anyone who throws a football or a Frisbee on any beach in Los Angeles County.

In passing the 37-page [!!!] ordinance on Tuesday, officials sought to outline responsibilities for law enforcement and other public agencies while also providing clarification on beach-goer activities that could potentially disrupt or even injure the public.

Also forbidden is the ability of little kids to dig any hole deeper than 18 inches in the sand, so leave those little shovels and buckets at home. But now that beach volleyball is an Olympic sport, there are some limits.

There was some controversy here in Seattle about banning bonfires on the beaches. Seattle Parks and Recreation received this memo from staff:

The overall policy question for the Board is whether it is good policy for Seattle Parks to continue public beach fires when the carbon … emissions produced by thousands of beach fires per year contributes to global warming.

As far as I know, that one succumbed to public laughter; but you never know, there are a lot of loons here.

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