Feedback: Whidbey waters in jeopardy

After attending the Public Meeting in Oak Harbor on Aug. 8, 2006 for the unveiling of the study on the characteristics, functions and health of Island County Wetlands, I am compelled to contact you. Your recent coverage of the meeting (Aug. 5 edition) was alarming and disappointing.

The study assures us that Island County wetlands are “healthy.” Their buffers are “in excellent condition.” “Wetland alterations have been insignificant” since 1984, when the County started regulating critical areas, Island County has based these conclusions on the best science that money can buy. Unfortunately, they spent our money, our tax dollars, on a process based on information acknowledged to be incomplete, biased and incorrect. The County has, in effect, re-defined “best available-science” to mean “make the data say what we want.” The conclusions that our wetlands and their buffers are “in excellent condition,” etc., are patently and observably ridiculous to anybody who has lived in Island County for even a few years. If the Planning Department can slip this parody of a scientific study through the bureaucratic colander of review and revision, and it stands unchallenged; then our water quality, wildlife, and quality of life will be in jeopardy. I strongly suggest that the News-Times look past the surface on this issue.

Elliott Menashe