by Chester McConnell, FOTWW
Corps of Engineers continuing to accept comments concerning Lydia Ann Channel
The Galveston District Corps of Engineers is continuing to accept comments concerning the Lydia Ann Channel project, a mooring facility where barges can be staged (parked). The barges are mostly filled with toxic chemicals waiting to be unloaded along the Texas coast near Corpus Christi. The project has a disastrous history from a regulatory respect and Friends of the Wild Whoopers (FOTWW) is attempting to help correct the problems.
What if one or more of the barges spills its contents during a hurricane or a large ship sailing into one of them? That is a major concern. A spill could contaminate Gulf of Mexico waters and wetlands for miles along the Texas coast. Such spills could easily effect the Aransas Wildlife Refuge if tides and water currents forced the chemicals eastward.
Major concerns with the Lydia Ann Moorings project
One of FOTWW’s major concerns with the Lydia Ann Moorings project is its potential adverse impacts directly on Whooping Cranes and on their habitats on Aransas Refuge and surrounding private and government lands. The cranes are endangered species and only about 350 remain. They spend six months during fall-winter season on the Aransas National Wildlife Refuge which is near the proposed mooring project. Whooping Cranes commonly travel all around in the vicinity of their primary habitat on Aransas Refuge. They have often been observed near the Lydia Ann Channel Moorings project.
Because of the location of the project, numerous identified and unidentified impacts and the tremendous controversy associated with this project, FOTWW firmly believes that the moorings (large metal pipes) should be extracted and removed to a more acceptable location. FOTWW supports the USACE’s letter that stated “The only option to protect Lydia Ann Channel, surrounding waters, fish, and wildlife, is the removal of the mooring structures and restoration of the shoreline”.
If the project is not halted and the site restored then we strongly believe that an Environmental Impact Statement pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act must be prepared. Threatened and/or endangered species or their critical habitat will definitely be affected by the work and future use associated with all of the alternatives proposed. Importantly, consultation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife and the National Marine Fisheries Service should be initiated to assess the effect on threatened and endangered species.
Lydia Ann Channel public comment deadline March 2nd
Click this link to get information about commenting to the US Army Corps of Engineers in opposition to the barge mooring facility: http://conta.cc/2lmW506
Let them know, by March 2nd, how you feel about having YOUR public water taken over by a small group of Corpus Christi investors – Lydia Ann Moorings,LLC
For more in-depth information about the Lydia Ann Channel controversy, click on: Click here to read the Removal and Restoration Plan
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