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SURFING SOAPBOX: Work out issues on kayaking

On a warm summer’s day you’ll be hard-pressed to find a nicer stretch of coastline than that of Laguna Beach. I don’t mean in Orange County or the state, but in the world. Yes, folks, I do mean in the world.

Our coastline here is pristine and yet unique because of our reefs and small private-like coves.

One of most spectacular stretches of this coastline, and personally one of my favorites, is only accessible by and able to be seen, either by swimming, paddling, kayaking and/or boating — and that is the area between Victoria and Moss Point beaches.

This is an unbelievable stretch of coast that has up to four or more sea caves and water spits; an area of coast that many longtime locals have never seen because there is no coastal access for the everyday beachgoer.

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Yet what makes Laguna Beach so pristine and unique in its reefs and small private coves makes everyday beach life that much more difficult because these reef (rock) formations make many of our beaches dangerous to those who have no experience in using them.

Just ask the lifeguards. When it comes to our beaches, it is our lifeguards who should be making decisions based on what is safe and what has a negative impact on fragile ecosystems. This is exactly what our great lifeguard department did when we had some concerns here in town over the surfing schools.

Those who had the proper permits and insurance, and who had been conducting their surfing schools in the proper way, were invited to sit down and iron out a solution that fit the needs of the surfing schools and the public and yet made sure they were still safely regulated.

Since then our surfing schools have been running smoothly, and this is the same way the kayaking issues should be worked out as well.

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Our City Council was very gracious in letting us find solutions to running our surfing schools by working with the lifeguards, and as a result, it benefited everyone.

Why not try the same formula again?

As a town, we are better served in finding solutions to our problems — such as what to do with kayaks — rather than just banning them.

Peace.


JAMES PRIBRAM is a Laguna Beach native, professional surfer and John Kelly Environmental Award winner. His websites include AlohaSchoolofSurfing and ECOWarrior Surf.com. He can be reached at Jamo@Aloha SchoolofSurfing.com


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