(ANNAPOLIS, MD)—Alison Prost, Maryland Executive Director of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF), issued a statement following the 2-1 vote today by the Maryland Board of Public Works to approve a wetlands license for the 1,000-home Four Seasons development project along the water's edge on Kent Island. Maryland Treasurer Nancy Kopp and Maryland Lt. Governor Boyd Rutherford voted for the license. Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot voted against approval.
"Since the debate over this project began in 2003, CBF has warned that the proposed Four Seasons development will pollute surrounding wetlands. Finally, the board's own expert acknowledged the development will foul nearby wetlands with pathogens, excess nutrients, metals, pesticides, fertilizers, oil, and grease. Yet even with the acknowledgement, the Board still voted to approve the wetlands license.
"The public needs to be heard. It is not enough to rely on a hearing from a decade ago. The project has changed. Water quality science has advanced. So have strategies for reducing polluted runoff. Over 1600 Maryland residents have expressed concerns to the Board, yet only very limited public testimony was taken today.
"This enormous project will sprawl along waterfront, increasing pollution, traffic, and flooding. Despite what the developers say, any project of this enormity is harmful to the Chesapeake Bay, and its fish, crabs, and oysters. Polls show over 60 percent of Kent Island residents oppose Four Seasons. In 2003, it was the wrong project in the wrong place. And, it still is.
"The Board had responsibility to protect state resources for the good of all Marylanders. Today it failed to do so. CBF will continue to fight this incompatible project with all the means at its disposal."