Letters to the Editor

Keystone: Wrong place for new dock

The Feb. 7 News-Times printed comments from Roger Sherman, (who) claims that the Driftwood park site “makes the most sense (for a ferry terminal).”

Mr. Sherman, does it make sense to develop an environmentally sensitive area or modify an area that is already disturbed? The Driftwood Park site is home to many important marine plant and wildlife species. As a diver I am personally aware of a significant expanse of kelp that covers the bank of the driftwood park site. Additionally, I am aware that the site is home to many species of wildlife including octopus, moon snails, wolf eels, scallops, crabs and rock fish. The site also incorporates an artificial reef and is in the migration path of salmon and herring.

Should the Driftwood Park site be developed all this would be lost. The losses would come as a result of several negative environmental impacts. Firstly, the dredging and development of this area would remove any existing wildlife and modify the long shore drift patterns in the area. This would leave the area barren of wildlife and cause problems with erosion and sediment deposition, affecting areas west of the park. Secondly, studies have shown that spawning and migration behaviors are negatively impacted by the noise created due to marine traffic. The marine traffic in the area would also increase turbidity affecting the amount of light penetration required by marine plants. Thirdly, the bottom paints used on marine vessels have been linked to endocrine disruption in marine life and localized plant mortality. Fourthly, the impacts from increased motor vehicle traffic will induce greater amounts of hydrocarbon runoff further polluting the area. These impacts just scratch the surface of a project of this nature. All these impacts and more currently exist at the Keystone site, what sense does it make to spread the problems to another?

Mr. Sherman, you state that the Driftwood site is the preferred site from a skipper’s viewpoint due to ease of approach. I say that skippers are well trained and compensated for making difficult dockings. If ease of docking is a priority, then let that be resolved when modifying the Keystone site.

John Barone

Oak Harbor

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