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To the editor: The proposed state port near Southport is not a good idea and should not be started.
Like most proposals by a small number of business interests, there are the usual promises of good-paying jobs that don’t materialize.
Mechanization and computers will handle much of the movement of goods. Subcontractors paying the lowest wages, without benefits, will provide manual labor.
Goods will mainly be imported from China, India, the Mideast, etc. Contact California ports to learn of foreign trailers shipped there and abandoned because that is cheaper than returning them empty. The problem is so bad locals are trying to recycle containers as modular houses.
Recently, a firm proposed a storage business for containers in Leland. This could become a dump for contaminated lead-based painted equipment.
Trucks and rail service are required to move goods inland, adding to highway congestion and increasing air pollution that sea breezes may not clear as smog intensifies.
Multi-lane highways will be built or become toll roads, costing taxpayers millions and taking years to complete.
Is there any plan to provide passenger rail service from inland cities?
A port requires a large, paved maneuvering and parking lot resulting in tremendous wastewater runoff leeching into the ground and waters. Dredging the port channel to 50-feet will cause destruction to the river bottom, disrupting the eco system.
Container ships and tankers need a large basin dredged to turn around. There is a shifting shoal at the coastline where the river meets the ocean.
Spillage from one tanker hitting a shoal will allow oil to move out of the river on the next tide and cover beaches for miles.
Environmental water hazards include non-native marine life. In the Great Lakes, ocean-going ships release bilge water that causes an invasion of zebra mussels that have colonized and are clogging lake water intakes. There is no solution for this issue.
We have a port serving our area and an additional one will be an economic disadvantage to Wilmington.
Access to the waterfront is disappearing, and that piece of land would better be used for a planned “green” community with a public square and public water access.
Let Southport retain its charm and boost state economy as a great destination.
Tourism is our biggest coastal economic benefit to more of our population and small businesses. The projected cost for a port has already risen from $1.3 billion to more than $2 billion.
We need many voices to redirect this movement and need to act now.