Falmouth Beach Superintendent Bruce G. Mogardo reported to selectmen on Monday, October 29, that the first summer season with new beach rules and regulations was a success.
Mr. Mogardo said the rules were successful because they were communicated clearly, making them easy to understand for anyone using the beach.
“We didn’t blow whistles, we didn’t yell or scream at anybody; we did it the old fashioned way, face-to-face, eye-to-eye, with a pleasant demeanor—and it worked,” he told selectmen.
Selectman Douglas H. Jones said beach staff presented users with a reasonable rationale for the rules.
“People could understand it wasn’t just a rule for rule’s sake,” Mr. Jones said.
Selectman Megan E. English Braga said beach staff was reasonable but firm and professional.
“You struck a great balance,” Ms. English Braga said. “These are places for people to come and have fun, both for people who live here and visit.”
However, Mr. Mogardo reported that not all rules were observed by beachgoers.
“Our biggest problems this summer were trash, alcohol and dogs,” he said. “The biggest complaint we got, after 5 o’clock, when no beach staff is available—dogs were on the beach and sometimes off leash.”
He said this caused a problem, as some dogs would get into and eat people’s food or scare younger children, who don’t know if the dog is friendly or not.
Mr. Mogardo asked if it would be possible to have the animal control officer patrol by the beach before 9 AM or after 5 PM.
The matter of trash is not unique to Falmouth.
“It is an issue Capewide,” Mr. Mogardo said. “We’re hoping Capewide we can come up with a solution that Falmouth can consider.”
Selectman Douglas C. Brown said some people are using the beaches as a dump.
“The trash is a huge problem, and it will take more than just the beach committee to address it,” Mr. Brown said.
Ms. English Braga noted there might not be enough trash cans by the beach.
“A lot of days in the summer, those little ones you have are maxed out,” she said.
Mr. Brown noted that rather than take their trash to a different receptacle, people leave it by those full cans. Seagulls can easily access this garbage, spreading it on the beach and in the water.
Parking also contributes to the trash problem, as when parking lots are at capacity more people walk and bike to the beach. If they bring food with them, they might be tempted to leave what remains rather than carry it back with them, Mr. Mogardo said.
“Trash is the biggest problem they have on every town on the Cape,” he said.