PLEASE HELP GET THE WORD OUT !!!
If you live on St John and have friends who are not on Facebook, they may very well have been misled by articles in the most recent issue of Tradewinds newspaper.
This past Monday the Tradewinds filled multiple pages with erroneous interpretations of the recent Army Corps Public Notice, interviews with Chaliese Summers, and reprints of material from Mega Yacht News (an online publication).
Whether this was a result of intentional deception or simply bad journalism, a number of people who have read the Tradewinds are understandably upset and confused. Let me try to set the record straight, and I am asking you to communicate this message to people you may know who are not seeing it online.
- The recent Army Corps Public Notice does NOT provide ANY indication of the intent, or not, of the Corps to issue a permit. The notice contains the following words: “This public notice is being issued based on information furnished by the applicant. This information has not been verified or evaluated…” Does it surprise you that the APPLICANT has said that the marina will not impact protected species or habitat ?
- The recent notice is far more thorough than the previous one. This is a REQUIREMENT of federal regulations. The language used in the notice for “preliminary determinations” is standard language used by the Corps on many, if not most notices.
- The claim by Summers End that the mooring field was “never a part of their Army Corps application” is quite simply an outright lie. We have copies of their prior application if anyone is interested. Tom Oat could have asked for it. They removed the mooring field because they were forced to due to lack of any engineering or environmental data on this component of their project.
- 4. The article that was first published in Mega Yacht News (an online news site) was RETRACTED by the author after she was asked to read the actual comments of federal agencies. She thanked us for pointing out the facts. The Tradewinds printed it in its entirety as though it were “news”.
- The designation by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) of all of Coral Bay as an “Aquatic Resource of National Importance” is a critical element in the protection of Coral Bay. Under this designation the Army Corps CANNOT issue a permit unless the EPA concurs with it, and the EPA has explicitly told the Corps NOT TO ISSUE A PERMIT.
- Time is on our side. The applicants are running out of time, and money, and investor patience. If they had unlimited financial assets this process could linger on for YEARS while a full set of environmental studies were conducted. At the end of that time, the permit would either be denied or vetoed by the EPA.
- On top of all of this, the Summers End Group DOES NOT HAVE A LOCAL PERMIT. The CZM decision of last October is under appeal and could take years to go through the court system. In the meantime there IS NO LOCAL PERMIT.
SO PLEASE LET PEOPLE KNOW THE TRUTH. THANK YOU !