At The Beach

By: John A. Lanier

Coastal habitat degradation is currently a contributor to global warming, but it doesn’t have to stay that way. If we prioritize the conservation, management, and regeneration of coastal ecosystems, we can turn that ship around.

My wife and I agree to disagree. Admittedly, she’s from Florida, so I don’t think I was ever going to convince her to be on my side. That deck is too stacked. But would I cross the line and join her ranks? That was always the question, and I think it’s clear after seven years of marriage that the answer is no. She’s a beach girl, and I’m a mountains guy, and our brokered peace will have to endure the test of time.

Don’t get me wrong, we both enjoy any vacation no matter the setting, but we do have our clear preferences. My wife is drawn to the warmth of the sun, the fun of splashing in the waves, and the book-reading environment that lounging on the sand offers. I’m drawn to the smell of the mountains, the coziness of a fire to push back the air’s chill, and the immersion in nature that you experience hiking in mountain forests.

Upon further reflection, I think it’s that last point for me that really stands out. When I think of the mountains, I imagine dense forestland with clear-flowing streams and the color green as far as the eye can see. When I think of the beach, my mind is drawn to the images of my childhood vacations: white sand, crashing waves, and pesky seabirds that want to eat the lunch we packed. My bias is that the mountains are teeming with life, while the beach is as devoid of it as a desert.

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