So the other day some kids went sledding on the dunes in Cape Henlopen State Park. They made a video of it and put it on U tube, then it went a little viral locally. It was sent to the DSF Facebook page a dozen times in messages and one person posted it to the page. The Delmarva Fishermen Follies Facebook page crew put it up and people were not happy or they thought it was just kids being kids and no harm no foul. Delmarva now put up a picture gallery of these kids sledding on the dunes, not only can you see these pictures, but you can purchase them. Hopefully they will use any proceeds to help fix the dunes. Even the photographer is standing on the protected side of the dunes. Everyone involved is also named in these pictures which that will make DNREC’s job easier. What these kids did is illegal and they told the world they did it. Some people feel it was no big deal. Just kids being kids.
So what do you think? Should these kids be charged for what they did? Last year or the year before some people were caught sledding on the dunes in DSSP and they were fined. Keep in mind these are protected dunes, and we pay millions of tax dollars a year to replenish beaches and rebuild dunes in other areas. The tract where these kids were sledding is now devoid of any vegetation and as we get more rain it will turn into a gully and erode the dune face. According to them (kids) it was okay because others have done this before. One kid did apologize and said they didn’t see any signs, even though they were standing 5 feet from one and there are signs posted on the fence poles every 20 feet. There is a fence there for a reason, common sense at least should have prevailed.
Personally I feel they should be fined like anyone else who is ticketed for walking in the dunes, pay to fix the damaged area, and have to volunteer to help the parks this year. Maybe they will learn to respect their own park that way. A friend of mine asked me one day when is the parks going to do something about the area on the front of that dune that kids are sand sledding on in the summer. I thought that an odd question since he works for DNREC. Several people thought it was no big deal and that people should calm down. I suggest they start a fund to help pay the fines and then come out and help fix that area. I wonder how they would feel then? Apparently these days it is okay to break some rules and have no respect for other people’s property, including state property. The parks could easily solve this issue by just shutting down the park when it snows, but that won’t solve this issue during the summer when people are sand sledding down the face of this protected dune.
ADDITION >>>> I would like to point out that traditionally people would sled on the dune in the campground inside of the park, not the dunes facing the ocean. That has never happened except for the people that sled on the great dune last year in front of Fort Miles and they were fined. I am all for traditions, but not at the destruction of a protected resource. Also, when people were caught sledding on the inner park dunes at the campground since that was stopped a few years ago, they are just kicked off the dune with no fines.