Environmental concerns

Published 5:35 pm Wednesday, August 28, 2013

To the Editor:

I commend the Washington Daily News for its coverage of the local environmental issues. Wednesday’s article covering the shameful misuse of our coastal resources really hit home. I recently read an editorial in The New York Times that mentioned my home state, North Carolina — and not in a good light (http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/22/opinion/welcome-to-the-age-of-denial.html?_r=0). Seems like we have been identified as one of those anti-science states. Remember when our county commissioners supported the legislators’ decision to ignore climate change impacts on sea level rise? Our state was mentioned in this article right before Oregon, where parents are eschewing vaccinations. As a scientist, I can tell you that we are diverse people with agendas and worldviews just like everyone else. That being said, there is not a nefarious scientific agenda to pull the wool over the public’s eyes in relation to human impact on the environment and climate change. As citizens of Beaufort County and the world, we have been charged as caretakers of our environment. Having been a resident of San Diego County, Calif., I can tell you that the boon of high-dollar housing on the water is fantastic for the economy. However, much of the native coastal sage scrub habitat has been destroyed as a result and some of this housing burned in catastrophic fires 10 years ago. Tough decisions are before us in Beaufort County, with short-term impacts on jobs and long term impacts on the environment. We are at a crossroads with the proposed Martin Marietta mine and changes to our coastline. I would like to urge us to think long term. Are a few houses and the scant promise of a few jobs worth the possible impacts on our most treasured environmental resources?
Dominic Reisig