Proposed Inlet Project Will Have Adverse Impact
I am writing with comments related to the Proposed Navigation Improvements Draft for the Ocean City, Maryland Inlet released on May 23, 2022.
As proposed, I have to voice my greater family’s opposition to this project. We recognize the potential economic benefit IF this project stabilizes the inlet navigation channel through preservation of commercial fishing in the resort area and potential decreased maintenance costs. However, there is no guarantee that the hoped-for improvement will be realized.
We are very frequent visitors to Assateague National Seashore by boat. Currently, the only way to access the Maryland part of the National Seashore is utilizing the Verrazano Bridge over Sinepuxent Bay, or by boat. The only way to access the Ocean Beach north of the Assateague State Park is either by hiking north from there, or anchoring on a beach and walking to the Ocean Beach.
There are only two places where this can be accomplished. The first is the two beaches in the inlet at the North end of the island which is what you are proposing to close off with this project. In the past, you could anchor on the West beach at the North end of the island to do this. However, a path that used to go through the dunes is frequently blocked in the summer by “Do Not Enter” signs related to the Piping Plover and other bird species nesting. In the past, you could also walk around the North end of the island. However, the loss of a passable beach at the Northwest corner of the island makes this impassable, too.
The other area is about two miles south of the inlet on Sinepuxent Bay. This is roughly directly opposite the Sun Outdoors RV Campground just south of the Ocean City Municipal Airport. In this area, there is a beach that can be anchored at, and a runoff “wash” that can be traversed the short distance to the Ocean Beach. The problem with this location is that every year, starting in early May through early September, this entire area is posted as “Do Not Enter” due to the Piping Plover and other dune nesting bird species.
During the Pandemic, we utilized other Western side beaches along the Sinepuxent Bay to anchor at to avoid the crowds. While we could not access the Ocean Beach from there, we could at least relax and enjoy nature socially distanced from others. Last year, and again this year, the National Park Service has moved the “Do Not Enter” signs from the land above the high water line, to into the water to prevent access to these beaches.
These annual summertime access restrictions greatly reduces access to sandy beaches to only the North End of Assateague Island. Currently, on the Northwest end of the Island, there is approximately 2000 linear feet of anchorable/beachable beach along the North end of Sinepuxent Bay. The two areas that you are proposing to close are a total of approximately 600 linear feet. That comes out to a 23% loss of access which is unacceptable. We are also concerned about the loss of this soft shoreline. I have witnessed schools of small fish, Horseshoe Crab spawning, and other small marine life in these basins.
As a long-time boater and explorer of the waters around the Saint Martin River, Assawoman and Little Assawoman Bays, Isle of Wight Bay, and Sinepuxent Bay, there are very few places that a boater can anchor at a sand beach to passively enjoy this incredible natural resource. Without access to the Ocean Beach at the North end of Assateague Island many people each year would be denied this amazing location. Personally, for our family and us, this would be a tragedy. Once you remove access to a natural resource, you are unlikely to get it back. When you extend those jetties, if it does not accomplish what is hoped for, you will not be taking the rocks back out.
The only thing that might make this project “palatable” is the following:
First, the plan would need to include filling in the area south of the Western end of the proposed jetty extension. This could produce about 200 linear feet of beach to offset the loss of 600 linear feet. Also, filling in sand behind the length of the jetty extensions would improve access to the Ocean Beach.
Second, the other part that would need to be included is increased access during the summer to the above mentioned area about 2 miles south of the inlet opposite the Sun Outdoors RV Campground. I fully understand the need to protect the dune nesting birds. However, allowing access to this approximately 700 linear feet of beach and access to the Ocean Beach would compensate for the loss of the North end inlet beaches. The “Do Not Enter” zone could be moved back above the Sinepuxent Bay beach. A marked pathway, with “Do Not Enter” on either side could then lead to the Ocean Beach.
In summary, the current plan is incomplete in that it does not consider in its analysis the public access to a natural resource that they have had access to for decades. It also does not compensate for the environmental loss of a natural soft shoreline by creation of another nearby. I urge the US Army Corps of Engineers, and National Park Service to use my comments, along with the many others I am sure you have received, to consider all of the stakeholders related to this project. Adverse impacts will last for decades.
Dr. Stephen A. Pulley
Dr. Kathleen Sardella
Arts Day Appreciation
The Art League of Ocean City would like to thank the thousands of guests who came out to support us at our 2nd Annual Arts Day at the Winery, held on June 5 at Windmill Creek Vineyard & Winery in Berlin. What a huge success. A record-breaking family crowd of more than 7,000 visited with 60 artisans offering their work, listened and voted during the Battle of the Beach Bands, and enjoyed the lovely ambiance and fine wines of Windmill Creek on a perfect spring day.
Special thanks goes out to our sponsors for the event: Radio Ocean City, Fish Tales Bar & Grill, the Joan Jenkins Foundation, Positive Energy, Beach Music, and T.E.A.M. Productions. Also to the wonderful Mariner family and their staff at Windmill Creek and to Aubrey Sizemore and the amazing Art League team (including volunteers) who coordinated the event. Thank you, too, to artist Jim Adcock for the hand-painted cornhole boards.
The mission of the Art League is to bring art to the community as well as opportunities for artists. We received this message from Matthew Davey of The MBD Band, who played at the event, and we wanted to share it with you.
“The event the Art League of Ocean City just had for the original artists at Windmill Creek Vineyards is a big deal,” Davey wrote. “I mean it! It may be a bigger deal than you all may realize. Delmarva needs to set an example to our youth that there is a place for your own music, and writing your own music isn’t a waste of time. You and the Art League have genuinely made me more optimistic about the future of original music on Delmarva. I just needed to meet the right people, you.”
That’s why we’re here.
(The writer is the executive director of the Art League of Ocean City.)
It is a real shame that we no longer teach any real Civics that teaches all our students how our version of Democracy, a representative republic, actually works and what powers are given to each position in our government. It seems that too many folks depend on social media and slanted news operations that express opinions instead of facts, but still present that as news or verifiable information. Laws are made by Congress, not the executive. But we see how many law makers are just stooges of the lobbyist like Big Oil and lately the NRA who give them millions in donations, and then vote against the wishes of the majority of Americans. Follow the money. Let’s outlaw lobbyists, all those secret PACs, and limit donations from actual voters only.
The price of gas is set by the international energy companies, not the President. We export gas and oil even now because the energy companies sell to the highest bidder, and no one dares to freeze exports. The price and availability of commodities are set by free market forces, unless you want more government regulations. Those that complain the loudest and complain the most about prices also appear to demand less government regs, so make a choice, will you? Congress does have that power to make the regulations to freeze or lower prices, not the executive. The Judicial has the final say as to what they believe to be constitutional, but that has become slanted by the current stacked courts.
The previous president should have worked a bit harder to get more than a low C average in university so that he could understand that a tariff is not a tax on other countries like China, but just an added cost to the purchasers of those goods. China does not pay a dime more, we pay it, do not listen to his lies. Read a book on basic economics, which he never appeared to. The one positive outcome of tariffs is to make American goods more competitive, but not enough yet to return manufacturing to America. Prices for all the imports we buy would be lower if we removed the tariffs immediately, but that would slow renewing our manufacturing sector.
I shopped to buy a US flag recently, but it was a struggle to find an American made one. Just like the MAGA hats and obscene F*** Biden flags, most are made in China, or its materials are, where they are sold for half the price of American made. We need to stop buying Chinese made and buy American whenever we can and pay the extra. The advantage then is that your hard-earned cash stays in our economy not going overseas, to develop our companies and jobs.
Amazon and Walmart make it too easy to buy overseas products. Please do the due diligence to find the country of origin, and help American manufacturing regain the American market share. Please stop listening to misleading sound bites, and research from vetted sources.
Poor decisions: These police officers and civilians are losing their lives over poor decisions of the political leaders who don’t care, judges with poor judgment and attorneys representing these career criminals.
If these criminals were thrown in jail and the key was thrown away many officers and innocent civilians would be alive today. How many innocents have to get killed before we hold the political leaders, the judges, and the attorneys responsible for their poor decisions, poor representing and poor judgements? How many more families have to bury their loved ones because these so-called lawmakers are literally handing these criminals a future list of innocent people lives?
You stop this by capital punishment and extended sentences. And instant death penalty when you kill someone. No prayer, no priest, no remorse. Pointing the same sword at the criminals who do these inhumane actions. These criminals have no remorse or care about anything besides how many times they get away with their crimes.
My message to the city council and mayor is I think you need to be more worried about these criminals and the constant crimes that are going on within the county and within the town limits of Ocean City and stop worrying about skateboarding, scooters and electric bikes. Get your priorities in order because you got families to worry about.
It only takes one bad judgment by a judge and one of these criminals will play the devil in sheep’s clothing and possibly hurt innocent families. You don’t want the reputation of Baltimore city in Ocean City. Get your business in order and or get off your thrones.