Letter to Rep Dan Kristiansen Asking for Support

Letter to Rep Dan Kristiansen Asking for Support

Dear Representative Kristiansen,

I am writing to you on behalf of my neighbors who live and own homes and land in the Martin Road area of Rockport. We are very concerned about the potential for an increase in our exposure to flood risk associated with a developing project to improve fish habitat just upriver from our homes and lands. We want to make sure you are aware of these developments and ask that you help make sure that no approved or permitted plan will place our lands and homes at greater risk.

A coalition of interests is now making public presentations to describe alternatives under consideration to modify Barnaby Slough. The most aggressive and apparently favored alternative would involve opening the slough to river flow, channeling an estimated 30% of the river to the southwest and then back into the Skagit. Hydrology analysis and modeling work done this far leads project advocates to claim that there would be no increase in flood risk. Unfortunately these folks are advancing ideas that are scaring the daylights out of us, as they have not provided specifics as to what would be done to protect us, and my neighbors feel that their good questions are not getting answered.

Long time residents here with intimate familiarity with the river and the presence of water are aware that diverting the flow of the Skagit could result in catastrophic consequences if sufficient protective steps aren’t taken and carried out long term. Naturally residents and landowners want to know exactly what will be done to put our minds at ease. They have realistic questions like: “What will happen if the downstream exit of the slough gets jammed?” or “if there’s a breach in the levee?” or “how will this slough be maintained long term to assure no flood risk?” I’ve asked if worst case scenario modeling has been done; the answer is no.

It seems that ideas are being advanced which are unsupported by specific plans to avoid flood risk. In the minds of quite a few of us it looks like an orchestrated conspiracy to take over our properties. I can sure see how my neighbors feel that way! My conviction is that any alternative which cannot satisfy a criterion that it will not result in an increase of flood risk exposure to area homes and lands should be set aside.

In summary, we will appreciate your support and representation of our interests in preserving our rights to live and enjoy our homes and lands, some of which are prime farm lands, with no increase in exposure to flood risk.

Though a lot of us support recreational and commercial fishing, we want to make sure that our homes and lands and their values are not placed at greater risk, intentionally or unintentionally. There is a long history in our country of people thinking they can control nature more than they really can. Please don’t let anything happen here that will harm us.

A public meeting regarding this project is scheduled for Monday evening, February 23rd in Sedro Woolley. The announcement is attached. A link to the website for this project is in the meeting announcement.

Thank you so much for your understanding and support.

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