Letters to the Editor

Feedback: Trail threatens beach

Might I start with a comment: Your staff writer, Marina Parr did a wonderful job on the article (News-Times, May 8) referring to the city waterfront trail.

I would also say, the article was filled with true facts. Not necessarily viewed by me as true. But true to the article. Thank you for that.

My family views the waterfront trail as an important part of the trail system. The part about us being opposed to the trail is true. However, the reasons you have represented to the public are not quite accurate. You evidently didn’t see the letters that were addressed to the city or the 20-plus pictures that I presented to the council.

The reasons we are not for the trail is the location of the trail. That’s the part of that story that’s missing. It should be like this:

We oppose the trail because of the environmental damage that will be done to the driftwood berm and degradation of the shorelines. The trail should be moved inland to prevent the destruction of the driftwood. It is placed on the active berm of logs and driftwood that provide the cushion and stability of the beach and beach sand that we so cherish.

Without the driftwood the wonderful beach will also erode. Just look at the beach to the east. Also, having the trail so close to the condominium and with a flood plain height designed into the bulkhead, the probability of getting the public down to natural beach everyone talks about will be almost impossible. Our family has talked about using the beach as the last leg of the trail, not the driftwood. We have never opposed anyone using the beach. We offered it as the crown jewel.

We also think that the public is very diverse, not all wanting the same thing. Why should the trail all be asphalt? Is it all for the joggers and runners, or is it for the bikers and rollerbladers? How about the elderly who want to stroll on the beach, not run or bike. How about the people who want their children to see what a real walk on the beach is all about. The ones who want to play by the water and catch crabs and other crustaceans. We believe the beach should be used by everyone. But destroying the beach to put in a walkway is wrong. That’s what we are opposed too. Our feelings also go for the rights of private ownership, for if it wasn’t for private ownership this beach would look like all of the others on the shoreline. (degraded, with seawalls falling into the mud and water outfalls covered with big rocks, that are not only an eyesore but a danger for children.) Those are the points that we want the city to look at before they make a decision to take our land. Let’s preserve, not destroy, our heritage.

Fred Walruth

Oak Harbor

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