Category Archives: Down the drain

Trashy Is as Trashy Does

Dear Friends of SLEAT:

It did not occur to me until recently that the pejorative “poor white trash,” might be used to make a distinction from “rich white trash.” But, given the evidence, it’s hard not to conclude that, whatever the income level, trashy behavior is a constant. Here in the Golden Isles, it’s not just the causeways and roadways and beaches that are regularly trashed by visitors and transients. While paper mills and power plants pollute air and water, our stellar tourist industry turns the land, marshes and beaches into dumps, albeit behind Potemkin-like fences, screens and walls.
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Hand-me-downs on the Georgia Coast

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This is what the Georgia Department of Emergency Management considers “help” — “donating” a used/excess armored personnel carrier to the Glynn County Police.

The Chief, apparently not aware of the purpose of the common sense caution to “look a gift horse in the mouth” recommends acceptance without so much as a mention of housing, maintenance and repair costs of this hand-me-down.
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Two Against One

When the Shore Protection Committee of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources voted in December of 2015 to grant a permit for the construction of a groin/breakwater and a dune in waters of the state and on a public beach, the vote was two to one, because one member was absent and the Commissioner of Natural Resources, Mark Williams, only votes in case of a tie. If the members of the staff who processed the application for a permit, including 99 comments in opposition from citizens and other agency experts in natural resource preservation, were looking for back-up from their chief, they were disappointed.
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SIA Groin Permit Challenge

Having sat through about six hours of a hearing that may be entirely legal, but doesn’t seem fair, I can’t say it was worth it. Although what’s being appealed is a decision by the Coastal Marshlands Protection and Shore Protection Committee, under the auspices of the Coastal Resources Division of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, instead of the CRD defending a decision that actually ran counter to the staff recommendation, the lawyers for Sea Island Acquisition, as intervenor, are being allowed to take the lead in challenging the environmental groups’ witnesses.
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Bad Neighbor

Selfish, self-centered people make lots of demands. Generous people are often inclined to let them have their way. We assume that the self-centered will be satisfied. But that’s wrong. Some people are obviously of the “give them a little finger, they’ll take the whole hand” variety. So, eventually, the only sane response is “enough is enough.” That’s been the sense all over the country lately and the Georgia coast is no exception. But, our new editor of the Brunswick News is still in the generous mode that’s prompted the following editorial:
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About the Gopher Tortoise

When James Holland discovered that some gopher burrows had been vandalized in a Wildlife Management Area, he called on our agents of government to take some corrective action. That the gopher tortoise is not listed as endangered by the federal government had escaped his notice, probably for the simple reason that in a rational world, they would be. But, Georgia is a peculiar state.
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Conspicuous Misperception on the Georgia Coast?

The Democratic ballot for the upcoming primary elections on May 24 has the following question, on which the voters are invited to vote yes or no:

Should private property on rivers and streams be protected by natural vegetative buffers to ensure that Georgia’s waters are swimmable, drinkable and fishable?

Apparently, somebody in Georgia knows what buffers of grasses, shrubs and trees are for, while coastal entities such as the Jekyll Island Authority and Sea Island Acquisition obviously don’t. Perhaps it’s a vision or vista thing. Perhaps some people are so impressed by what they can see, or don’t want to see, that they confuse buffers with shades or blinds that hide.

Certainly, that seems to be the case when the Jekyll Island Authority justifies razing the vegetation along the causeway so raccoons preying on turtles can’t hide, overlooking the fact that it’s hawks, not raccoons that rely on sight to hunt.
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Seashores

SeashoreI’ve been perusing a 160 page Golden Nature Guide to Seashores, published in 1955 and what it tells me is that we’ve got a long tradition of homocentric attitudes to change if our impact on the world around us is to be reversed. For example, on pages 62 and 63, the short dissertation on starfish concludes with the gratuitous information that “Starfish destroy millions of dollars’ worth of shellfish yearly.”
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