LETTER: Revived NOAA sanctuary would come with onerous regulation

To Ozaukee Press:

This letter is in response to the news story, “Officials ask Evers to revisit marine sanctuary plan,” in last week’s Ozaukee Press.

It sounds like everyone had lots of “positive feelings,” but what they don’t have are lots of positive facts. Did they discuss NOAA’s 2019 sanctuary budget? The budget lists NOAA’s program priorities, and sanctuaries are not a priority. Budget allocations reflect that—sanctuary operations receive $1,750,000 less; sanctuary construction gets almost half a million dollars less.

Most telling is the sanctuary program description. It is a system which achieves “voluntary compliance” through “public awareness and education.” That is done through “exhibits, signage and kiosks.”

NOAA sold us on preserving shipwrecks. Now they are delivering signs. In corporate America, those sales tactics are called bait and switch. It’s against the law.

Officials have touted the impact on tourism and the local economy. There is absolutely no evidence to support this. The Thunder Bay Sanctuary in Alpena, Mich., did not increase tourism. After 12 years. NOAA itself commissioned an economic study to  improve tourism.

The sanctuary will impose three new layers of federal law and regulation on our lake and shoreline up to the ordinary high water mark. It will require permitting for many activities and usages presently enjoyed. It will make illegal and even criminalize activities people do in the ordinary course, with penalties immensely greater than those Wisconsin lawmakers have enacted.

It will take control of our freshwater decisions from the governor and give it to federal bureaucrats with no accountability to the voters of Wisconsin, affecting decisions from FoxConn to whether California can get Lake Michigan water.

And in exchange we get kiosks and signage.
Julie Kuether



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Ozaukee Press

Wisconsin’s largest paid circulation community weekly newspaper. Serving Port Washington, Saukville, Grafton, Fredonia, Belgium, as well as Ozaukee County government. Locally owned and printed in Port Washington, Wisconsin.

125 E. Main St.
Port Washington, WI 53074
(262) 284-3494


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