Letter: Growler expansion will have negative effects

Editor,

This letter is in response to the Navy’s stated preferred alternative to expand Growler operations from 6,100 to 23,700 at the Outlying Field Coupeville.

Many letters and local leaders have described the unique status of Ebey’s Landing National Historical Reserve. It bears repeating, however, that the Ebey’s National Historical Reserve is special, not just to the citizens of Whidbey Island, but to all the up to 500,000 visitors who come each year to walk, gaze, gather stones and just be at peace with the beauty of Ebey’s Landing.

The dramatic increase in flights not only breaks the peace for locals and visitors, but destroys the habitat for birds of several species, feeding and burrowing habits of small ground creatures and the well-being of farm animals grazing nearby.

“National Historical Reserve” is a significant designation.

This is not a casual, local place that will suffer such a heavy impact due to this increase in decibel levels. It is a specifically set-aside spot of historic and natural significance.

What is even more surprising, and distressing, however is the difficulty that the citizens of Whidbey Island and beyond into the far reaches of the Puget Sound are having in being heard.

We have expressed our concerns about the dramatic increases in decibel levels and flight numbers our regions will be experiencing if this plan is implemented in a civil and heartfelt way, but responses from elected officials and the Navy officials making these decisions have been minimal and unfortunately not responsive to the questions asked and the concerns expressed.

The Navy has a powerful voice, and an important one, but the citizens of Western Washington should have an equally powerful voice when something as important as the welfare of children, farm lands and a national treasure are at risk.

We are asking the national decision makers to please listen and grant the reasonable request for “No New Jets. No New Flights”.

Cheryl Silverblatt

Coupeville

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