, Gloucester, MA

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March 18, 2013

Letter: Hotel project holds up to enviro scrutiny

To the editor:

Congratulations to the Gloucester City Council for doing the right thing in approving the proposed hotel from both an economic and coastal engineering standpoint.

In general, the opposition’s expert, Dr. Godfrey, is correct. A dry sand beach backed by a seawall will eventually disappear due to the scouring of wave action and rising ocean levels. His solution was to remove the seawall and let the beach migrate inland.

In the case of the Birdseye beach, if you remove the seawall, where is it going to migrate to? Even if you remove the factory foundations (at great expense), it only buys some time before it is blocked by the road.

Raising the hotel up to allow “coastal storm slowage” to pass under it would probably be uneconomical. The hotel seawall is necessary in view of increased storms and rising ocean levels. I find the resulting incremental damage to surrounding properties, like Stacy Boulevard, overblown.

So enjoy the beach while you can and appreciate the major boost to the Gloucester economy. This is especially important in view of the problems in the fishing industry.



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