Headed toward tragedy with dredging plans for Long Island Sound

The Tragedy of the Commons refers to the unsustainable condition when individual interests overwhelm a common resource. The failure of this model influenced the adoption of private property. Sadly, that lesson is seemingly ignored by the current dredge spoil dispute between New York and Connecticut. 

The Day, “Connecticut AG makes case for Eastern Long Island Sound dredging disposal site,” (June 8) and the Connecticut Mirror reported on the impending court suit. Both articles characterize the process leading to the EPA's decision as objective and fair. This is not the case. 

UConn Avery Point, owned by Connecticut, was commissioned to do a key study. The conflict of interest was obvious and it undermined any claim of objectivity. 

More disturbing were some unaddressed issues. The Sound has experienced a nearly 10 degree rise in water temperatures since 1991. Among the many resulting impacts is the issue of Millstone Power Stastion. The nuclear plant's operating license has always been conditioned by cooling intake temperatures. This restriction has been routinely eased as the Sound has warmed. It is likely that these temperatures will be influenced by the proposed dumping. It cannot help but alter the cooling currents in the area of Niantic Bay.

Whether it repeats or rhymes, history suggests we are headed towards tragedy.

Robert Evans

Fishers Island, New York


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