Save New London's State Pier. Ditch the windmills.
“Good Grief!” Our governor wants to reduce the size of New London harbor by seven acres. That’s big enough for 14 houses. The added land is needed for the assembly of windmills. Each blade is 165 feet long and sits on top of 800-foot-high steel towers, which actually is two-thirds the height of the Empire State Building, which uses up 2 acres of land.
Seven acres – that’s 304,000 square feet. Guestimate two to three clams per square foot. That’s close to 900,000 clams. They are not just lying in bed being as happy as, well, clams. They are working. They are working without a mandate from the governor and without bureaucratic entanglements. Best of all, without one penny cost to taxpayers.
One clam filters four gallons of water a day. Plant and animal life is extracted for the clams’ own nourishment. That amounts to three and a half million gallons of filtered water, which in turn also helps to prevent fish killing hypoxia. Who speaks for the clams? Where is the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, the savior of our environment?
Don’t try to tell me DEEP's in the governor’s back pocket. I will never believe that.
The governor is against single-use plastic bags but he is in favor of single-use State Pier. One hundred forty-four ocean-going ships a year used to come to the Port of New London to unload their cargoes. Trucks would take goods and material out on the highway and go east and north and west to eagerly waiting customers and consumers.
Now they’ve stopped, no longer welcomed. Did the governor, or even the mayor, show any interest or care?
Ocean Beach Park has been called “the Jewel of New London.” I contend State Pier is the Treasure Chest. Open it up! It’s full of jobs and payrolls. New London Harbor is in a great location. Boston Harbor to the north, New York Harbor to the south. It’s a short, almost straight course, to the nearby Atlantic Ocean. A ship coming in needs fewer pilots and fewer tugboats to get to its berth. This means shorter turn-around times and more profit for the ship owners.
Windmills are a flash-in-the-pan, a short-term fix. State Pier is a beacon, a never-ending bright light for jobs and payrolls for generations to come, bringing up standards of living.
Is there any hope for a last-minute reprieve and stay of execution for our wonderful, hardworking clams?
Larry Hample was one of the founders of the New London advocacy group, “Looking Out for Taxpayers,” or LOT, which disbanded in 2017. He is a retired charter boat operator.
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