I sat tonight in an auditorium at The DEIS workshop presented by the Coalition for Beach Access. This first meeting was held at Cape Hatteras High School a couple miles down the road from where I live. The meeting was attended by many and almost to capacity. A room filled with young and old from all walks of life. Many of those in attendance were faces I see rather regularly during my Island adventures. And many of those faces belong to those whose families arrived here generations before, in some cases, hundreds of years ago. Some have lived on this sandbar since long before the Seashore was dedicated in '58. For quite a few, maybe even most, this was their first exposure to the process and its ramifications. To hear the reaction of those seated around me as they learned for the first time just how devastating the NPS preferred plan will be and what it will mean for the Seashore brought tears to my eyes.
I wish I could find the words to describe what I heard but they escape me.
It was said tonight that life on these Islands is neither easy nor convenient. I couldn't agree more. And now we're faced with an oppressive future wherein NPS controls virtually every aspect of life, especially the economy as a closed Seashore means no economy at all. This year, for the first time, the Hatteras Island Food Bank was unable to help all those in need in large part because of the draconian Consent decree. This alone has cost many of us our jobs and has placed Dare County into the rather dubious position of number one in terms of unemployment.
As important is that the people of this nation lose access to a place they were promised by Congress that would always be theirs. As far as NPS is concerned, we're all visitors to the Seashore whether we live here or not.
So we all need to band together and fight this nonsense. NPS does not have the science to support the need for these measures. Nor, for that matter does anybody else. And they violate federal law.
This stuff ticks me off.
If you're going to comment, and I ask you all to do so, remember! this has nothing to do with the consent decree, DOW, Audubon or SELC so don't say anything about them else your comment will be ignored.