Summer begins today and it’s time for something that is as much a part of the season as eating pizza and ice cream on the boardwalk, enjoying a cocktail on your deck or watching kids jump in a pool.

It is that one day each June when I share the rules that should apply when it comes to beach behavior and etiquette.  There are other versions but they come from those who may live here but do not have the experience or expertise as yours truly who spends many hours and days on the North Avenue beach in Seaside Park.

Moses can take credit for his better-known version but only I have my name attached to the “Ten Beach Commandments.”

  1. DO NOT CROWD THY NEIGHBOR. Yes our beaches get crowded but there is no reason to sit right on top of others. This is not Coney Island.
    Seek space between yourself and those who were there before you.
  2. DO WEAR A BATHING SUIT THAT MATCHES YOUR BODY-Gravity does things as we get older so if you’re going to wear a bikini or Speedo please take a look in the mirror. Speaking of clothing, DO NOT wear socks with sandals.
  3. DO NOT FEED THE SEAGULLS. It’s nice that you’re a bird lover but when you feed one you bring the entire colony.  Plus the food you’re feeding them is actually harmful to the birds.
  4. DO LEARN HOW TO OPERATE YOUR BEACH UMBRELLA. This is especially important on a windy day.  Make sure the base is dug in well, angle the umbrella into the wind and keep it as low as possible.
  5. DO NOT WALK ON THE DUNES. Nothing worse than watching parents allow their children to walk or run on the dunes even though there are signs everywhere that say “stay off the dunes.”
  6. DO FILL IN THE HOLES YOU DIG. I’ll never understand this but for some reason when people come to the beach they have an obsession with digging, especially fathers and sons (usually Dad digs and son watches).  When you are done excavating fill in the hole so nobody falls in it.
  7. DO NOT LEAVE ANY GARBAGE ON THE BEACH- This includes empty water bottles and yes, diapers.
  8. DO NOT PLAY MUSIC FOR THE ENTIRE BEACH- Boom boxes are mostly a thing of the past but every once in a while someone brings one and feels the need to turn the volume up. Suggestion: headphones.
  9. DO NOT SHAKE YOUR BLANKET OR TOWEL OUT NEAR OTHERS. It’s probably loaded with sand so go to an open area.  Speaking of sand don’t let your kids throw it.
  10. DO FOLLOW THE LIFEGUARDS DIRECTIONS. If they blow their whistle and move you there is a reason like maybe you’re near a rip current.  They are there to help you and keep swimmers safe.

Follow these simple rules and enjoy your time at the beach.  More importantly, don’t ruin it for others.