Barbara Schneider could not have been clearer when she addressed the selectmen on Monday regarding Menauhant Beach. Ms. Schneider said we should be embarrassed that we let the beach get to the state it is in. She was not only clear, she was absolutely right.
The beach was a subject before the board because erosion has made the old wooden bridge and other structures at the west end hazards. And the only solution anyone can offer is to put up signs and fencing.
Some were worried about liability, that someone could be harmed by exposed rebar or rusty spikes in the old bridge.
What about the image that these things present to summer visitors to Falmouth? What might they think of a town that lets its beaches get to this state? Granted, it’s only a portion of the beach, but it’s a portion that is likely to make an impression.
Menauhant was once a jewel. It was one of the finest beaches in Falmouth. The sand was never as fine as that at Old Silver and some years pebbles made wading in to swim hard on the feet. But the shoreline drops off steeply and made for fine swimming, once in.
But that was a long time ago. The beach has been eroding for years. It was nourished one summer with sand dredged from Great Harbor, but other than that, and a lot of hand-wringing, nothing much has been done.
Maybe Falmouth will resign itself and decide nothing can be done to build the beach to a semblance of its former state. Beach nourishment is expensive and it is never permanent.
But we hope not. The town neglected its playing fields for years until it was obvious that some serious money had to be put into them. Now the investment is being made. The town puts money into the bike path, as it should. The bike path is another valuable asset that shouldn’t be ignored.
Falmouth’s beaches are too valuable to write off as too expensive to maintain. Menauhant Beach should be at the top of the list.