Statement issued by Joe Glynn, Yarmouth candidate for the Barnstable County Assembly of Delegates, and published verbatim:
The regional nature of shark dangerous waters requires the County to swim to the rescue of Cape Taxpayers, Businesses, Towns and Visitors alike! The legislative body of Barnstable County government is the Assembly of Delegates . The lack of leadership on this issue and more, compels me, as a Candidate to replace the Assembly Chair and Yarmouth Delegate, to propose a commonsense solution to this highly volatile and controversial issue. The deafening silence has allowed negative publicity to harm, the Cape's reputation and caused injury to tourist and the tourist industry! Equally harmful has been the sensationalized grandstanding to get attention by one of the County Commissioners. when the media pounces and sensationalizes the answer is not to bark out a flammable irresponsible remark and then become unavailable.
A Shark sighting, or multiple sightings in one town, area or beach, brings media scrutiny. An injury of a risk taker, surfer , adventurist paddle-boarder or small craft enthusiast is one thing. A major attack to a an adult well lived bather or a mature swimmer is another that brings heightened negative attention by major market media outlets and . The over-reaction is unfair to Town Leaders, Chambers, Businesses, and especially residential property taxpayers.
However, if after years of scientific study, injury, close calls, multiple injuries and increased activity bring further media attention, then alleged County Leaders need to step up and at least near, the line in the sand at waters edge. The County has a responsibility, as any incident, in any town or specific beach impacts, towns and the whole region. A Lower Cape incident affects the Mid Cape a Truro attack affects Yarmouth tourism. negative media attention in Yarmouth affects Falmouth. a beach closing Dennis affects Hotel/ Motel taxes and the heads in beds in Barnstable. Any Cape negative media attention, beach closings, or hyped word of mouth hurts meals tax revenues, residential and business property values and local tax revenues. State , Town and Chamber Tourist Ad Investment can be ruined by mere rumored shark sightings or seal potential.
One might say :"Ok Mr. Glynn this is common sense stuff. I agree, but it seems like everybody is waiting for kids to be chopped up, and Panicked Moms swallowed trying to save a well mannered toddler within eye shot of rescuers and their Parent(s) only an arms length away! We don't need graphic video to go viral, a death to our visitor or our residents to be witnessed by stunned beach goers.
We can provide Town Leaders, with support, solutions and long overdue resource rebates, for years of withheld Deeds Tax Revenue. What adds insult to injury to people and the tourist driven economy, is that the lack of mature discussion by the Assembly (specifically the Chair from Yarmouth) and the Commissioners, while wasted and mismanaged County funds have been drained by tens of millions from Co. Coffers.
Australia with hundreds and hundreds more miles of coastline, many more beaches, much warmer year round shark attractive waters, many, many more species of ocean creatures of various sizes, while the Cape barely has Cod and similar size fish and few shark/seal size animals and smaller ocean life. They have tried more drastic measured, from deeper water net traps, Seal/Shark Culling-Shooting (these emotionally charged debates including the one aforementioned are unpalatable by one or more groups or sides)! The federal protections/environmental and fishing considerations should be addressed by Federal Candidates/Pols.
My proposal is a simple cost feasible, common sense, common ground solution, that would bring positive attention, save money, and would attract visitors and curious media inquiries not hyped negative sensationalism. An Eco-friendly protective permeable barrier enclosure with a specific designated swimming boundary, consisting of buoys, weights and three sided plastic meshed curtains. Basically fanned layered baffled buoys like those that separate swimming areas from other dangerous conditions. They would placed from high to low tide marks anchored and each layer would be separated by plastic or cloth mesh one foot or less squares. These are not netting and would only be used for swimming areas, only to preclude Seal, Shark and Predatory animals and possibly nuisance biologicals like seaweed, eel grass, jelly fish, or Dangerous Man-O-War etc., that would be determined, designed, implemented and installed by Town Leaders Dept-Heads, Rec Dept-Lifeguards-Beach Staff, Harbormasters, Public Safety etc.
This cost effective solution is already vetted in more contrarian environments, easily adaptable to each local beach/area, and could be supplemented with little additional cost with Sonar Emitting Devices around the perimeter, providing redundant sense of security, and peace of mind WIN-WIN-WIN for all!
Great Town Businesses, Great Town Beaches, Great Town Seals, Great Townspeople,Great Chambers, Great Sharks, Great Leaders=Great Tourism!
The Author [Joe Glynn] is Yarmouth Housing Authority Commissioner and Asst. Treasurer Joe Glynn & Current Candidate for Barnstable County Assembly Yarmouth Delegate