March 8, 2006

Coastland Times Vs. Dr. Sandlove

It is a pity that the Coastland Times doesn't have its content available on the Internet. As the paper of record for the Outer Banks it would make a lot of good reporting available to people who simply don't want to read 2 week old news. If the paper had a web site this post would be linked to the editorial in the Tues (March 7,2006) edition. Since that is not possible I will try to provide the flavor of the piece.
The editorial responds to a letter from Orin Pilkey and his associate Andrew Colburn published in the Va. Pilot Commentary section on Sunday March 5. As readers familiar with the authors might suspect, the missive was another joust in Pilkey's quixotic struggle to get people to stop building on the coast and to retreat. Pilkey begins by citing the recent Dare County sales tax referendum as proof positive that coastal residents don't want to protect the shoreline. He goes on to call for the abandonment of the coast and retreat to the west. When Pilkey suggests such a strategy would ensure "clean and healthy beaches" the Coastland Times responds:
Yes, perhaps; but by that time the beach would be in the vicinity of Elizabeth City and everyone would be instructed by Duke University Earth Sciences professors to pack up and make a further retreat in order to keep it clean and healthy.

On the question of what the referendum meant the CT again says Pilkey comes up short:
Pilkey and company take for granted that Dare County residents are overwhelmingly opposed to beach preservation, as was Carteret County, they say, when voters there they rejected a $30 million bond proposal in 2002.
But that's not at all clear. Nor was it the issue in last month's referendum. It was who should pay for maintaining Dare beaches, and how. Voters simply said 'no' to the sales tax increase. Many may have opposed beach nourishment as well particularly the $1 billion plus sand-pumping plan proposed by county advocates but given the opportunity, a majority of voters will almost always say no to a tax increase.
Finally the CT disagrees with Pilkey in a most fundemental way. Pilkey's letter concludes that the only thing lacking for a retreat stratgegy to work is public will but the Coastland Times sees the peoples will differently.
Pilkey tells us, "There is absolutely no reason except not wanting to why buildings cannot be moved away from the shoreline." That's like saying there's no reason except for not wanting to that Dare County residents don't pack up homes and businesses and move away from here. Not wanting to is reason enough.(emphasis added)
The majority of our residents live and work here by choice. Unless we're mistaken, they want to maintain and preserve what we have. They differ on how to go about that but while most realize that changes are inevitable, they are unwilling to abandon these Outer Banks to the forces of nature. Or to Professor Pilkey and friends..;

Right On.


At 5:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are misquoting Mr. Pilkey and twisting his story to suit your own purpose. For example, where does Pilkey (as you said) say that ..."coastal residents don't want to protect the shoreline.."
He didn't say that. Problem is, your idea of protecting the shoreline is "beach nourishment" and Pilkey's idea is "retreat from erosion"...Stop twisting the facts, please.
Furthermore, you and other beach nourishment proponents like to twist the concept of "retreating from eroding beaches" as someone's suggestion that we do a "massive pullup of all buildings, all at one time, and move them inland as far as Elizabeth City! Where does Pilkey say this? Time and time again, beach nourishment proponents twist facts to suit their purpose and this is only more example.
The fact is that 80% of the oceanfront cottages on the Outer Banks have sufficient westside lot frontage to move each one of them as many times as the owner wishes, be it 20, 40, 60 or more feet; more than enough to outrun normal erosion rates before the useful life of the cottage is gone. Of course, a category 4 hurricane will pay no attention to any of this, including massive beach nourishment/buildup.
Lastly, wasn't it the Times editorialist who recently said that the founder of the BeachHugger movement had no more supporters than the "numbers on his mailbox"? Ironically, when the election referendum was held, it was the Times who didn't bother to report any kind of timely story and, instead, chose only to put a small voter result chart on its back page. You can look for more wishy-washy editorials in the days ahead. And, that's just this Outer Banker's opinion.


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