I submitted this OP-ED to The Plain Dealer Commentary Section.
In a perfect world the idea of "re-connecting" Cleveland's citizens with access to its lakefront--a sentiment often expressed by community leaders, planners and activists--is surely noble and necessary.
However, such "reconnection" must also accompany understanding the significance and importance of the lake's bio-integrity. If not, then the flood gates will open to more abuse and degradation that our once pristine but still recovering Lake does not need.
The abuse of which I write about is courtesy of the filth that nearby visitors and many residents leave behind. The current lack of understanding or care for such matters is clear every time I am close to the waterfront. Our waterfront is visually filthy with debris--and all coming from human activity and disregard for our environment as well as our everyday fellow citizens.
Please read the entire commentary here: http://www.cleveland.com/opinion/index.ssf/2014/05/cleveland_must_value_lakefront.html