Shorelines Are Getting Better

Testimony of Jackie Rossworn for Public Hearing 23 May 2011 Kitsap County Shoreline Inventory and Characterization Report.

Shoreline Inventory and Characterization Report

May 25, 2011

To the Board of County Commissioners and Mr. D. Greetham of the Dept.  of Community Development:

I am a waterfront property owner and have been for over 33 years.  As a Seattle native I spent my youth on Puget Sound, more so than others because my father was a Merchant Marine and employed by Foss Launch and Tug.

In the 1950’s Puget Sound was used as a dumping ground for everything people didn’t want. (And I mean everything)  There was no Metro Sewer at that time.  Beaches including salt water and fresh water were horrible.  You could not swim in Lake Washington and most parts of Puget Sound in the Seattle area were very questionable. We have come a long ways since the 1950’s and 60’s and even the 70’s and 80’s. 

When we bought our waterfront HOME in the late 70’s we would laugh at what people dumped in the bay.  I guess the rule was “If you no longer wanted it, throw it in the drink, it will go away”.  We spent many hours hauling things out. (plastic everything, glass bottles, tin cans, old boats, logs and branches etc.)  (the dead cow we couldn’t handle) We still haul things out but now it is almost nothing compared to then.

Times have changed.  The shores of Puget Sound are now a wonderful place to live, raise your family and grow old.  And then reap the rewards of taking care of Puget Sound when it comes time for you to sell and move on.  Nobody is going to buy stinky, trashy waterfront.  We have made this a better place with the help of our neighbors.  We are excellent stewards because this is our home.

Now we are dealing with a non-scientific report issued by Battelle called the Shoreline Inventory and Characterization Report. It threatens to erase everything we have worked 33 years for.  This FLAWED report assumes that control of the first 200 feet of shoreline will improve the ecological function of the shoreline.  Show me the science.

The Dept. of Ecology says surface run off is the problem.  The SWMM Program has done a wonderful job and seen results.  Ecology just throws out threats of “taking” property through “Buffers” and “Set Backs”.

I live in rural county.  If I have any run off it is very little run off as the street is behind my house. (another FLAW, painting all properties with the same brush).  My neighborhood is very concerned of how the Commissioners and the DoE has demonized those who care the most.

As a responsible neighborhood we were able to install a sewer system to eliminate possible seepage from old septic systems approximately 15 years ago.  The Health Dept. checks the beaches periodically for any problems.  So far none have been reported.

I would like to know how by achieving a “NET GAIN” in function it is now going to cost me and my neighbors our homes.  (Non-conforming status) Maybe some are having a problem here and there with ecosystems. Let’s help them.

Why don’t YOU take the position of seeing what you can do to help those who have problems?  No responsible property owner anywhere wants to destroy his or her environment.  Try education first.  Strong arming the public will get you nowhere and may cost you in the end.

Why don’t you give me a call and have a discussion rather than a stand off that gets everyone nothing except angry.

I would also like to see that you have read the letters people have taken their time to write rather than having staff send a matrix of “highlights”.

Jackie Rossworn (360) 990-1088


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