This is to keep you informed of the results of the public hearing at the Virginia Marine Resources Commission (VMRC) offices in Newport News on Tuesday, November 25, 2008 regarding additional pound nets in the Chesapeake Bay off Cape Story by the Sea.
Marine Resources Commission
Fisheries Management Division
2600 Washington Avenue, 3rd Floor
Newport News, VA 23607
At the monthly meeting on Monday, November 24, 2008, the SDCC- Shore Drive Community Coalition-representing over 30 Shore Drive civic and condo organizations, received information on and had discussion of the pound net proposal on the Chesapeake Bay off Shore Drive. The large population of dolphin in our area was recognized as unique to our part of the bay and preserving the dolphin population was a concern along with the safety of the residents using the bay for recreational activities.
THANK YOU to the CSBTS representatives and for providing the following information.
~ Empsy Munden, Pres. CSBTS
COMMENTS FROM PUBLIC HEARING:
After a one hour discussion with public comment (after waiting almost 3 ½ hours before it was our turn), the first set of pound net applications for our beach was denied! It was quite an interesting process to see. Two people spoke in favor of the nets. 7 spoke against including Lisa Bailey, John Onufer of Cape Story, Bob Low of The Landings, David Albis of Cape Story Civic Association, Mark Swingle of the VA Aquarium and Marine Science Center, Demetri Hionis – current owner of the existing pound nets, and Tom Powers from outside our area.
We could see the stack of papers from emails and letters. However, I do believe it is the actual presence and speaking that do promote your issue the best. Our comments though could not be transferred towards the second pending set of applications to be heard in Dec. Even though we had strong reasoning behind navigational hazards and safety of residents for our increasingly populated beach/neighborhoods, I believe it was mainly the dolphin issues that denied the applications.
So please continue to forward the information to other residents because letters/emails/faxes are still being accepted for the 2nd set of applications. We must also start working with our city to ensure that as residents our best interests are protected in the waters off of our shores. We must also pursue better public notice so future applications do not leave us blindsided with little time to respond.