Proposed Oyster Farm Around Myrtle Point ParkRonald W. Glockner, Jr.
To Whom It May Concern:
I recently learned that Mr. Raymond G. Combs of Hollywood, MD has applied for a permit with the U.S Army Corps of Engineers to install an aquaculture facility at three sites on Mill Creek and the Patuxent River - around the perimeter of Myrtle Point Park, for the purpose of raising oysters. This operation will include a 3.33 acre FLOATING aquaculture operation, plus two bottom aquaculture operations (4 acres each). This 10+ acre operation will limit recreational boating, crabbing and fishing activities around Myrtle Point, create multiple hazards to navigation (floating and submerged), will limit beach access (by boaters) to a major portion of the beach surrounding Myrtle Point, and it will significantly reduce the size of a public anchorage in Mill Creek. Furthermore, it's unsightly appearance will detract from the natural beauty of those enjoying the 192 acre park.
Since public comment is due by 27 Dec 2010, I'm requesting that you run the story on your website, sometime this week. Information on this permit can be found at this web site:
If you have any questions, I can be reached at 240.298.8243. Below, I have included my comments to the Corps of Engineers.
Please pass along to the boating community and anyone else who enjoys Myrtle Point. Please ask them to respond in writing to:
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
P.O. Box 1715
Baltimore, MD 21203
Subj: Comments concerning Public Notice NAB-2010-60452 (Coombs, Raymond G. – Aquaculture – Mill Creek and Patuxent River) 2010-60455-1
To Whom It May Concern:
I am adamantly opposed to the aquaculture facility being proposed on Mill Creek and the Patuxent River, for the following reasons:
Fishing nets in the Chesapeake Bay and Potomac River are supposed to be lit, but they rarely are, and pose a significant navigation hazard to boaters operating at night. I know several boat owners who have had the misfortune of running into these fishing nets. We don’t need similar navigation hazards on the Patuxent River. The public notice indicated that the floats would be connected with metal cables, which could cause more damage to boat propellers and transmissions than the fishing nets located in the Chesapeake Bay and Potomac River.
During the summer months, Area #1 is often utilized as an anchorage for boaters. Between the anchored boats and other recreational boaters - jet skis, water skiers and tubers, this body of water can become very congested on the weekends. Area #1 would increase the proximity of boaters to each other, creating a significant safety hazard.
Boaters utilize the beaches along Myrtle Point. Cages deployed in Areas #2 and #3, in 2.0-6.5’ of water, would create additional navigation hazards to boats utilizing those beaches.
Myrtle Point Park will be impacted by all areas referenced in this proposal. In 1997, the 192 acres was purchased with Maryland Open Space Program funds. It is one of the most significant undeveloped tracts along the Patuxent River. In addition to the magnificent water frontage and saltwater ponds, Myrtle Point has a great variety of wildlife, from river otters, mink, and cottontail rabbits to diamond-backed terrapins, green frogs, and salamanders. There are hawks, herons, owls, warblers, and eagles. The park is enjoyed by boaters, naturists, hikers and historians. This project would be extremely unsightly, taking away from the natural beauty and aesthetics of Myrtle Point. Not only would this impact all who enjoy the serenity of Myrtle Point, but it would also result in decrease property values for those properties located near this project site. This would mean less tax revenue for the County, during a depressed economy, with negligible economic benefit to the County.
There are plenty of less congested areas along the Potomac River that should be considered before this site is considered, which offer adequate protection. Areas along the Potomac would have significantly less impact on the land owners, hikers, naturists, historians, and recreational boaters. I can be reached at (240) 298-8243.
Ronald W. Glockner, Jr.
Hollywood, MD 20636
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