The best editorial of the weekend

Yesterday’s lead editorial on gets it right when it comes to the vital importance of keeping North Carolina’s beaches completely and permanently public in light of a state Supreme Court case delving into the matter.

Here’s the excellent conclusion:

Support for assuring North Carolina’s beaches remain public has brought together about as diverse coalition as can be mustered in the state, at least according to the briefs filed with the high court. It includes the two opposing candidates for governor, local governments and tourism agencies that don’t always agree and can be sharply competitive.

The papers filed by Democratic Attorney General Roy Cooper’s office declare the beaches are “public ways that must remain open to the panoply of rights traditionally enjoyed by beach goers.”

The case is about more than tradition and legal theory. It’s about dollars and sense.

Republican Gov. Pat McCrory’s administration said: “Public beaches are critical to supporting North Carolina’s economy. … A reversal of (the Court of Appeals) decision would deter tourists from visiting North Carolina beaches and jeopardize the state’s economy.”

That echoes the position being taken by a coalition of state and local travel and tourism groups. “The state’s vital tourism economy would suffer enormously if beachgoers lose their right to walk, play, relax and enjoy company of family and friends at the seashore,” the coalition said in a news release when it filed a Supreme Court brief.

North Carolina’s coast is a beloved asset, not merely because of it beauty or storied history. Where other states give private landowners more rights, North Carolina’s beaches are a treasure all citizens own and can enjoy.

It is precisely that principle the North Carolina Supreme Court should affirm.

Go to to read the entire editorial.


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