Suggest moving the proposed campground


To the Editor:

Moving to Oak Bluffs in the spring of 1999, I quickly became involved in the campaign to save the Southern Woodlands from becoming a golf course. As many may remember, that was a contentious journey, but thankfully the Land Bank stepped up and saved the precious woodlands. Reading the proposal from a Boston developer to put a campground in there rang an alarm for me. A frequent walker and cyclist through the property, I’ve had the joy of watching it return to healthy wildness. The variety of old trees, evergreens, ferns, mosses, and grasses are thriving. These plants are the lungs of our planet, and more important now than ever before.  They represent over 20 years of new and improved growth. With air and water quality endangered, the Southern Woodlands is a resource to be guarded. And that it sits over our sole-source fresh water aquifer and resides in the watershed of the Lagoon create even more urgency to the need for all-important stewardship of this parcel.

The idea of a campground adds a third potential project for this swath of land. To the M.V. Land Bank, I urge you to consider camp tenting on a different property that is less environmentally sensitive. We all know that often intentions and guidelines aren’t followed. People disregard rules at the expense of the environment every day; sadly, consequences might not become noted until it’s too late. Our Lagoon is already not as healthy as it could be. Camping gear often is flame retardant, thus containing PFAS. Do we want an additional source of PFAS contamination for our water? I think not.

As for the other proposals, they are substantial construction projects. I hope that any and every board they come before puts water and environmental preservation above all else when regulations are drawn up. We are an Island, we all know that. If our water becomes compromised or contaminated, we won’t know until symptoms reveal themselves in people. At that point it’s too late in a myriad of ways.

Susan Desmarais
Oak Bluffs