Voices need consideration

Published 7:21 pm Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Protection of the natural resources of the region is spurring a grassroots movement in the community. The stated purpose? To motivate corporate interests to do what’s right by the residents of Beaufort County.
The group consists of those who fish and recreate on the Pamlico River and its many tributaries, the residents of Blounts Creek and others who believe that more research into the planned Martin Marietta Materials pit mine is necessary to determine the potential impact of discharging millions of gallons of freshwater per day into the headwaters of the creek.
The coming together of like-minded people to protect the environment is not new in Beaufort County. Just a few short years ago, it was the residents of the community who convinced the U.S. Navy not to install an outlying landing field at the proposed site on the border of Beaufort and Washington counties.
Unlike the “No OLF” campaign that took the region by storm, this grassroots group isn’t saying no to Martin Marietta. Instead, their message is meant to highlight the need for deliberation, as well as the need to diligently study other alternatives for the discharge — alternatives that could possibly have much less impact on the ecology of Blounts Creek yet still allow the mine’s operation.
At 7 p.m. March 14 in the Building 8 auditorium on the Beaufort County Community College campus, the community is being asked for its input. Anyone with a say in the matter can be heard. And before the mine gets the go-ahead, those voices should not only be heard, but considered.
Doors will open at 6 p.m. March 14 for speaker registration and sign-in. Written comments will also be accepted.