NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Opinion

July 25, 2013

Machinery destroying PI dunes

To the editor:

This letter is in response to your front page July 11 article about the concern over the Plum Island dunes and fragile ecosystem. From my window here at 48 Fordham Way, I can see a tonnage of bulldozers and backhoes parked all over the construction site of 42 Fordham Way. My photos will reveal how the builders are planning to construct another enormous waterfront mansion.

This project was approved at a Newbury Board of Appeals Hearing on Jan. 10. I attended a meeting with the late Lois Smith (formally of Southern Boulevard), and we strongly opposed this plan, but to no avail; it was subsequently approved.

During the course of this hot month of July, a perfectly good house was demolished to accommodate a monstrous structure set atop a dozen pilings, a structure that certainly exceeds the footprint of the original abode. The crushing weight of the machinery on this fragile dune area and the pounding that occurred while the pilings were driven into the sand certainly flies in the face of all those conservation-minded people who are trying to protect this barrier island. My home, 100 yards away, quaked during the hours of violent piling driving.

It’s a lazy thinker who simply blames the erosion and destruction of Plum Island on storms and Mother Nature. In a public statement, conservation administrator Julia Godtfredsen indicts the actual villain responsible for much of the tragedy our island community has endured this last winter. She has proclaimed that “our goal is to keep this vast dune system healthy and strong by minimizing disturbance to the healthy vegetation. Dune grass can withstand 80 mile per hour winds, but will die if trampled … .” Well said. But where are these so-called environmentalists now while dunes are being trampled under the greasy treads of heavy industrial machinery?

Lorraine B. Connelly

Newbury

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