Daily Kos, November 4, 2012
By Lefty Coaster
The San Juan Islands are some of America’s crown jewels. The proposed Gateway Pacific coal MegaPort at Cherry Point would bring a steady stream of enormous Cape class bulk carriers loaded with coal through the two straits the straddle the San Juan Islands.
These Islands have a special place in my heart and the hearts of many who make the Northwest home. When I was a kid I went to the YMCA camp on Orcas Island, and later my family spent summer vacations cruising the islands in our small cabin cruiser.
You can see why these islands are so special to us.
The San Juan Archipelago includes 372 islands islets and rocks (at high tide) with 375 miles of rugged spectacular pristine coastline.
San Juan County is very dependent on tourism and an influx of new residents its stunning natural beauty draws to the islands.
Saturday’s scoping hearing for the proposed coal port was held in Friday Harbor the county seat.
This was Island residents chance to weigh in on the proposal. Residents of the Islands have nothing to gain from the coal port and potentially have much to lose. Those who came to voice their opposition overwhelmingly outnumbered the handful of proponents most of who came over on the ferry from the mainland (and most of them are employees of the SSA Marine the contractor for the pacific Gateway Terminal. About 420 to 450 people attended the scoping hearing, and 85 made two minute comments to the panel.