, Gloucester, MA

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September 13, 2013

Letter: Lifting DPA no answer for waterfront, fishermen

To the editor:

When doing research for my undergraduate thesis in American Studies, I came across a theory that stated that, without Gloucester’s fishing industry, the Plimoth (Plymouth) Plantation could not have survived.

And without Plimoth’s spirituality and hope for a better future in the new world, Gloucester could not have survived. Hence, without the two together, we would not be here today.

Maybe it’s a little much to say that all of America is founded on these two communities, but I find it intriguing to think about. Without Gloucester and its fishermen, there would be no United States of America.

Over the past year, I have been studying for a master’s degree in peacebuilding and conflict resolution. I’ve found that even in the most trying of circumstances, between terrorists or perpetrators of genocide and their victims, there is still a high likelihood of them being able to come to some reconciliation.

However, one of the fundamental lessons taught to us is that the practitioner must be creative in attaining this reconciliation so that both party’s needs are met.

What does this have to with I-4, C-2 and Cape Pond Ice, you may ask? I believe the removal of I-4, C-2 from the Designated Port Area is not the solution but a reaction.

There is no evidence that there is a lack of business opportunities within the DPA. What we lack, instead, is the creativity to find a solution that balances both the needs of our fishermen and the needs of our city and businesses.

We need to protect what limited coastal industrial land we have. Yes, it is a challenge to find the appropriate use for I-4, C-2, but it is far from impossible.

There has not been nearly enough brainstorming and creative thinking as to what might be possible. In fact, we are extraordinary lucky to have a DPA, because it allows us access to seaport bond money otherwise unavailable. We need to apply for these types of monies.

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