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Our Sought After Tidelands Need Our Attention

It is extremely important that we get an inventory of our tidelands economic and jobs potential. Bill Rowling has made a motion at the VMICC that we send a letter to the state requesting an inventory of our economic and jobs potential of the tidelands surrounding the islands. We need your vote to get this done so please turn out.

Quartermaster Harbor is going through a change for the better. Instead of being our septic and garbage dump it is becoming a cleaner, healthier ecosystem. Thank you so much to all of the wonderful people that have been a part of the cleanup. There are still those that are doing everything they can to continue on like this is not happening but it is now a requirement that septic systems around the harbor be tested and if there is a problem it is addressed. There’s more septic entering the harbor than just the homes around the edges. Since the $#!+ runs down hill pollution is also being followed up hill to the rest of the septic sources and any problems will be addressed until there is no more $#!+ running into the harbor.

That being said, when the water is clean our best aquaculture tidelands around the harbor will become very sought after we need to think about who is going to control and profit from them. There are already tideland owners that smell an easy profit from leasing their tidelands to Taylor shellfish corporation and they are ready to sign as soon as the water is certified. The Tribes and Chinese interests are also licking their chops. They know what we have here. When our best tidelands are certified for shellfish harvest and if these huge organizations get there before us and sign leases they can stay for as long as they want and we are locked out.

So it is in our best interest to get busy and be ready to lease these tidelands for our own interests before they are gone. Yes there are already people that think they can just go to the State and put a stop to the leases but it may not be possible because of the MRA. During the Glacier fight concern for our tidelands, fish, shellfish and habitat were a major reason why our tidelands received the designation of Marine Recover Areas. Shellfish farming is not only allowed in MRAs but encouraged because shellfish are filter feeders and each oyster, clam and mussel cleans 50 to 65 gallons of water per day so farming enhances recovery.

The economic and jobs potential is enormous and should be enjoyed by islanders. If islanders farm the tidelands we will have a lot more interest in keeping the home owners overlooking the tidelands happy where outsiders may not care about noise, lights and corporate employees working all hours of the night and day.

By voting for my letter at the next VMICC general meeting you will help keep islanders abreast of the future of our tidelands. I think being proactive is the best way don’t you? If you are interested in a well paid carrier in shellfish farming, developing an aquaculture curriculum for our college, improving our overall economic climate or keeping our tidelands from outsiders please come and support this important cause.