Thank you for the recent reporting about the public meeting regarding the proposed golf course. Please realize some important facts were not discussed or available at the meeting:
There has not been a wetland delineation accomplished for this project and much of the property is wetlands. If wetlands are destroyed as part of this project, their loss will be very difficult to compensate for. This area of native shore pine, and wetland obligate sedges and shrubs have been designated a “habitat of concern” by the Washington State Department of Natural Resources.
In 2015, Surfrider released The Washington Coastal and Ocean Recreation Study. To quote from the study: In 2014, Washington residents took an estimated 4.1 million trips to the coast, with nearly 60 percent indicating their primary purpose was recreation. That recreation included a variety of activities including beach going (67%), sightseeing (62%), photography (36%) hiking and biking (33%), surfing/kayaking/boating (7%) and wildlife viewing (40%). It seems prudent to survey the users of our public parks to see if golf is even mentioned among their preferences.
The sport of golf is declining in the United States. About 205 U.S. golf courses closed last year. One of the recently closed golf courses was a Washington State Parks facility.
During the recent meeting in Westport, the famed St Andrews links golf course was touted as an example of what could be built here in Westport. A new report from Climate Coalition states rising sea levels, combined with fiercer storms are putting coastline golf courses in danger across the UK.
Let’s not put the cart before the horse. Let’s develop a plan that will offer the best possible use for this amazing coastline property, and at the same time offer the opportunity that most visitors to our coast want: an opportunity to walk and explore this beautiful section of coastline.