Wa­ter­way needs ac­tion

The Covington News - - The second opinion - - The Brunswick News

It’s sum­mer­time and the same topic that has reared its ugly head in past hot sea­sons — the shame­ful con­di­tion of the At­lantic In­tra­coastal Wa­ter­way — is, like clock­work, sur­fac­ing again. In plain speak, the wa­ter­way is dan­ger­ously too shal­low in some ar­eas, yet the fed­eral gov­ern­ment con­tin­ues to refuse to do any­thing about it.

The rea­son there is so much shoal­ing and so many sand­bars in the in­tra­coastal wa­ter path to­day is the same rea­son the fed­eral gov­ern­ment gave al­most a decade ago: fund­ing, or the lack of it.

There’s just not enough tax-dol­lars be­ing gen­er­ated across this great land of ours to pay for ev­ery­thing Congress or the cur­rent oc­cu­pant of the White House wants.

Pay­outs like sub­si­dies for big oil com­pa­nies and fi­nan­cial as­sis­tance for Amer­i­can in­dus­try to cart jobs over­seas are far more nec­es­sary and im­por­tant, don't you know.

This is what led to the de­ci­sion by the Glynn County Com­mis­sion, at the bid­ding of Com­mis­sioner and recre­ational boater Bob Cole­man, to adopt a res­o­lu­tion sup­port­ing a self-fund­ing so­lu­tion.

In­stead of the fed­eral gov­ern­ment pay­ing to deepen the At­lantic In­tra­coastal Wa­ter­way, to main­tain it, boaters, yachts­men and mari­nas would con­trib­ute to a fund, via a tax or fee, that would be used to re­turn the Vir­ginia-to-Florida pas­sage to safe con­di­tion. ...

Nev­er­the­less, it’s not the job of boaters to fill fed­eral fund­ing gaps. It might be the quick­est way of re­solv­ing the sit­u­a­tion, of re­mov­ing sand­bars from the wa­ter­way, but it would be let­ting Congress off the hook for what clearly is its re­spon­si­bil­ity.

Still, the At­lantic Ocean could dry up wait­ing for Wash­ing­ton to act. ...

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