The discussion at Town Meeting Tuesday night around installing stone groins at Menauhant Beach might be a portent of things to come.

Some argued against spending money on a project that will not be effective in the long run. As Town Meeting member Joe Netto said in so many words, there is no stopping Mother Nature. Town Meeting member Melissa Freitag pointed to the work of the Coastal Resources Working Group, which a dozen years ago concluded that groins should be removed from Falmouth’s shoreline, not added to it, to allow the migration of sand.

DPW Director Ray Jack, on the other hand, cautioned that the lifespan of Menauhant Road and the bridge over the entrance to Bournes Pond will be cut short without the groins. They will be inundated before long without the groins.

Both are right, despite clear differences. Mr. Jack is interested in preserving infrastructure for as long as possible. Those opposed to building groins are thinking about the longer term.

It is a conflict of ideas that we are going to see more of. Sea level is rising. Climate change is going to cause bigger and more-damaging storms. We are going to have to make decisions about other infrastructure near the shore. Menauhant Road is just the opening act.

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