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Sunday, December 21, 2014

Guest Column
Let’s stop arguing over '06 Army Corps plan and move forward
By Billy Kupferman

I want to make it clear that I am not writing this column to engage Morris Kramer in a right or wrong contest (“Army Corps plan makes sense,” Feb. 28-March 6). I genuinely appreciate the fact that he is concerned about the wellbeing of our city. However, my goal is to stress the importance of putting an end to the blame game and conspiracy theories, and instead work together for a truly stronger and better-protected barrier island.

Two weeks ago, I wrote a column explaining that the people opposed to the Army Corps of Engineers plan in 2006 were not just surfers. In his most recent column, Mr. Kramer states that my response was written to defend surfers. I have two problems with this. One: the column was written in defense of no one. The word defense implies wrongdoing. In 2006 concerned residents spoke up for something they believed in, and this is what makes America great.

Two: Mr. Kramer needs to stop referring to these concerned residents as “the surfers.” These were people of all ages, backgrounds, and interests. Some opposed the plan because of what it might do to the surf, while others opposed the plan for what it might do to the beach. And all were concerned with the unwillingness of the corps to address these concerns.

Mr. Kramer says that we need sand put back on our beaches immediately and he is right. He states that the City Council must accept the 2006 corps plan as it is. The problem, however, is that accepting that plan doesn’t get us sand right now, and such a project can take years to complete. Additionally, the corps itself has made it clear that they have to re-evaluate and update its plan. When the updates are made, the project will be presented to the city and the City Council can vote on it. Although Mr. Kramer may find it hard to believe, there is no organized effort to stop this from happening.

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