Letters to the Editor

Posted: Thursday, August 01, 2002

Better ways to reinforce bluff than with boulders from inlet

I appreciate the Peninsula Clarion's recent series on bluff erosion. The bluff systems around Cook Inlet serve important functions by protecting private and public property and helping conserve fisheries and shellfish beds, among other things.

For the past several years, Cook Inlet Keeper has opposed an effort to harvest large boulders from the tidelands of Boulder Bay in Nikiski, to reinforce the failing bluff in front of the defunct (and heavily polluted) Chevron refinery site. Keeper opposes this ill-conceived project for two reasons.

First, the beach boulders play a vital role diverting storm wave energy and retaining beach sands and gravels, thereby protecting the bluff system, nearby property and set net sites. Second, there are easy alternatives for finding revetment rock elsewhere, away from the beach (e.g., inland quarries).

Chevron made considerable profits off our public oil resources, created some (now gone) jobs, then left Nikiski with a highly contaminated site.

For the second quarter 2002, Chevron (now ChevronTexaco) realized profits of $407 million, despite the stock market turn down (which pales in comparison to last year's incredible $2.11 billion dollar second quarter profit).

Chevron does not need another public subsidy; it should be a good neighbor and clean up its toxic mess without mining the rocks which protect setnet sites and hold together our bluffs and beaches.

The Alaska Coastal Management Program will be taking comments on this proposal until Aug. 25. For more information, contact Cook Inlet Keeper at (907) 235-4068 ext. 22.

Bob Shavelson

Cook Inlet Keeper


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