Support modern "green" recreational activities in our National Parks and Seashores
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Cape Cod National Seashore is a National Park in Massachusetts that spans the entire Atlantic-facing shoreline of Cape Cod across 6 towns of the Outer and Lower Cape. It was created in 1961 by avid sailor and President John F. Kennedy to preserve the natural and historic values of a portion of Cape Cod for the inspiration and enjoyment of people all over the United States. In recent years park management has issued prohibitions on modern, green recreational activities- such as kitesurfing and fat tired beach bikes- thereby eroding the enjoyment of the park by active, nature loving adults and youth. These bans promote resentment for conservation measures that result in the ubiquitous bumper stickers "Plovers, taste just like chicken". It also goes against the National Park Service's youth initiative that strives to get young people to unplug, get outside and enjoy nature. These young people could become the stewards for protection of public lands and open space if they could appreciate them. Kitesurfing is a relatively new form of sailing. It is a watersport that involves using a kite instead of a sail to catch the wind and pull a surfer onto a wave, thus allowing that surfer to ride many more waves than is possible by traditional means. It is quiet, non-polluting, utilizes a renewable resource rather than fossil fuel to tow-in the surfer, and the colorful kites are fluid and beautiful to watch. Because it leaves no physical or carbon imprint, kitesurfing is consistent with the NPS Organic Act that stipulates "the purpose of the National Park Service is to conserve the scenery and the natural and historic objects and the wild life therein and to provide for the enjoyment of the same in such manner and by such means as will leave them unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations.” In fact the Superintendent of another east coast National Seashore deemed it "a popular and appropriate recreational activity." Kitesurfing at Cape Cod National Seashore also has the potential to inspire tourists and other beachgoers to consider exercise activities that are harmonious with nature and environmentally benign, as well as a whole lot of fun. However this won't happen because 2 years ago CCNS banned kitesurfing on all its ocean-facing beaches from March-Oct claiming that the kites harm shorebirds. Looking over the CCNS Annual Shorebird Reports from the years when kitesurfing was allowed, nowhere is it reported that shorebirds or their nests or offspring were negatively impacted by kitesurfing in the area, and no kiteboarders were ticketed for violating the safety zone around shorebird enclosures or swimming areas. But government overreach allows the Park Service to ban new, green activities that they are not familiar with or supportive of, without having to prove any real harm done. Let the Superintendent know you believe it's time to bring Cape Cod National Seashore into the 21st century. These spaces were meant for the enjoyment of all who leave it unimpaired for future generations, and not just for those who are content with a leisurely hike and a seat with a view. Support kitesurfing in Cape Cod National Seashore and allow future generations to preserve and enjoy nature and the Seashore in new and exciting ways that our forefathers never imagined.
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