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Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Back to the beach/ Regresar por la playa

The Sea Walk

El Malecon

The lifeguard tower

El torre de los salvavidas

A family not enjoying the lack of sand

Una familia no disfrutando por falta de arena

Every winter high tides and storms combine to change the coastline and in the case of developed beaches destroy some of the developement. Cosatal resorts are in constant need of repair. In Playas de Tijuana the Malecon has been washed away in places this year, a lifeguard station has been destroyed and a great deal of sand has been lost from the beach.

The repairs may not happen this year. More than in the rest of Mexico it seems, the fads and insanities of the Evil Empire (or Babylon if you prefer biblical allusions to Hollywood references) spill over into the border region. Thus here we are seeing more and more funding for "security" (law enforcement and military) and less and less for arts, education, recreation and health, the things that actually make a society secure and worth preserving.

Erosion is especially great here because, while the sand taken away by the winter storms and tides used to be replaced by sand washing down the Tijuana river from the desert, since the building of the dam in the 1970s 90% of that replacement sand has not been arriving. It remains behind the dam now. Thus the ocean keeps eroding the beach but the river cannot replace it. (See, for example,

The result, when coupled with a lack of funding for recreational resources, is a major asset for the community that is no longer the asset it was, and a major tourist attraction that is no longer so attractive. There are forces in the community trying to better the situation. (See, Spring is coming and with it hope.

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