By: Robert Holuba.
The Federal Government should take a hard look at this Port & Inlet expansion before construction is funded.
Port Commission Chairman George Mastics suggests in his editorial, “Port of Palm Beach dredging would improve safety, bolster economy” (Sunday, June 23) that a parade of larger ships through a deeper wider Palm Beach Inlet would be safer for Palm Beach.
It doesn’t take an expert to realize that, contrary to Mr. Mastic’s claim, public safety will be at far greater risk if the Port of Palm Beach moves to create an expanded industrial complex near a primarily residential area preserved for public recreation.
The Town of Palm Beach and the Palm Beach Civic Association recently hired qualified consultants who expressed deep reservations about inlet dredging:
• Blasting to excavate the larger channel could cause significant damage to Palm Beach homes. (See former Town of Palm Beach Mayor Deedy Marix Letter about Damage the Last Time the Inlet was Expanded)
• An ocean surge through a deeper and wider inlet could create destructive flooding in the North End.
• Less frequent maintenance for a deeper inlet could reduce the flow of sand and make Palm Beach properties more vulnerable to storms.
In his rush to support a bigger port, our Commissioner Mastics has glossed over our major concerns. The real issue for Palm Beach is not “How do we bolster the economy?” but “How do we protect ourselves?”
Robert J. Holuba
Mr. Holuba is a Palm Beach Civic Association Director and chairman of the association’s Port Committee.