The faltering local economy is one good reason for the city to allow a kayaking concession at Treasure Island Beach, although it's not the only one.
Opening up another avenue of interest, another drawing card, for Laguna Beach this summer will serve not only the concessionaire but other local merchants struggling to keep their businesses going. And that is all to the good.
Of course, establishing a business close to the surf line will require some finesse, and the operator knows there are watchdogs ready to pounce on anything that might be detrimental to the beach environment.
But seriously, what could be less impactful than launching folks in kayaks from the shore?
There are many ways to enjoy the city's beautiful ocean waters and delightful coves "” swimming, surfing, boogie-boarding, paddle-boarding.
Kayaking requires a bit more equipment but is still extremely eco-friendly. It will be pure enjoyment for people who are able to get out there and see the city from the vantage-point of the near shore, not to mention all the sea life visible below the surface. And it's great exercise that people of all ages and athletic abilities can participate in.
The City Council's issuance of a temporary permit for kayaking this summer sets the stage for a possible appeal of the plan to the California Coastal Commission, which may or may not be enthusiastic about kayaking in Laguna Beach.
There are competing interests here: The Coastal Commission is charged with both protecting the coastal environment and opening it up to the public. And a kayaking concession certainly fulfills the latter requirement in spades.
We hope that those who have doubts will hold their fire until the temporary permit runs its course and the concessionare has a chance to prove himself.
That will give the concessionaire and the community an opportunity to see how this small business can be operated within the magnificent beach setting of Treasure Island.