Letters to the editor

Glacier

Outraged by Corps’ decision

I am writing to protest the proposed mine expansion on Maury Island by Glacier Northwest. Not that I expect the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to do the right thing but because I consider it my duty to speak out on such an outrageous proposal. It is — and always has been — a forgone conclusion that the Corps would issue Glacier this permit. Research has shown that the Army Corps of Engineers OKs more than 97 percent of permits before it. Would the Corps ever find a permit it didn’t like except maybe a “nucular” waste dump next to the White House?

In May of 2005, the Corps held a hearing on Vashon Island which more than 500 Islanders attended. More than 20 people spoke in opposition to this project; no one spoke in favor. To my knowledge, no environmental group in existence is in favor of this idiocy.

With the Corps’ abysmal environmental record, how can they, with a straight face, arrive at a finding of “non-significance”? Have they no shame? Haven’t they learned anything from Katrina and rock mining in Florida? How about the Corps’ proposal to cut a canal across Florida? They’ve laid waste to the Southeastern United States — now their sights are set on the Northwest. Well, for once it would be nice if the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers would swallow their mindset and do what’s best for our environment and our future.

I am embarrassed for them.

JW Turner

Maury pier

Old Maury dock degrades habitat

Many who care about the health of Puget Sound and its many marine species support the removal of the Maury Island Marine Park dock. It is of relatively minor “benefit” to few people while significantly degrading the nearshore habitat. At minus tides those who have explored the beach over many years have noticed the very gradual return of eelgrass that was desecrated during gravel barging activities in the 1970’s — except within the shade print of the dock.

Overwater structures interfere with migrating salmon feeding and increase their risk of predation. Because there has been so much degradation of the nearshore from Everett to Tacoma, this shoreline has become increasingly important to migrating juvenile salmon from rivers all around Puget Sound, including from as far away as the Skagit. They spend as much as a year in these waters bulking up before heading to the ocean. They need removal of the dock more than we need the dock.

Furthermore the pilings are still exuding toxic material that is harmful to marine species as well as humans.

Why do some people prefer an unnatural accumulation of species in an artificial environment rather than natural habitats? I realize there are many things to see. But that is true at the zoo or aquarium. It does not belong in an otherwise comparatively healthy nearshore environment.

Maintaining a structure that degrades the eelgrass and other natural habitat should not be how we spend public funds. It is less expensive to remove the dock than to keep it in a safe condition on this often turbulent shoreline.

Pat Collier

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