Branford affords opportunities for recreational water activities in rivers, streams, ponds, marshlands, ocean accesses, and more. Most of these areas are safe or fairly safe, nevertheless as we’ve found out recently, some are not.
I work with kids, who are especially vulnerable and curious. We can’t wait for tragedy to reveal where grave danger exists. Branford is a great town due to the great people who live and work here. We should consider safety first as our prime directive.
As much as I don’t like committees, I think our town should organize a “safety first” committee to study potential dangers, known and unknown. We have some very talented, knowledgeable people who I’m sure would volunteer for the task.
We can all think with our common sense and come up with ideas like having the Coast Guard present programs to our community regarding safety issues about waterways, tidal currents, rip tides, and coastal events, making it part of the educational spring program for kids and parents. We could involve the police with their expertise about local boating safety and water activities. Other issues of concern but still potentially dangerous could be addressed by local nature experts. Hiking, camping, nature activities, railroad tracks, and bridges can be made safer by volunteer services with or without official bureaucratic sanctions, posting simple warnings/cautions, perhaps indicated by a “Safety First” imprimatur, which could warn adults and kids of danger, incurring little or no cost.
We could do that using our natural resources—people in our community, the wonderful people who freely work to make this town great. We know them, and we don’t thank them enough or honor them as the cherished resources (and treasures) they are. “Safety first” is not just a slogan; it’s an obligation.
Let’s think proactive, not reactive.