Letters to the Editor

Toxins kill — buffers a proven defense | Letters

I am a conservative. And I want to protect some valuable resources.

I don’t want a private individual invading my property. The nearshore marine community is mine, along with other Americans. Why am I concerned?

There is a lot of smoke and Tea Party kind of noise obscuring some fairly simple facts regarding the protection of my — our — property. As an example, let’s take the need for setbacks, and other buffers for critical habitats. Humans create toxic stuff as a by-product of their existence. Many of these toxins are called non-toxic, but usually this refers to humans, dogs, cats, etc.

For example, detergents,  common in domestic products, are very toxic to aquatic animals. And detergent toxins are not even identified as active ingredients in most garden products.

But by looking at a situation, we can note the de facto presence of toxins: roads, driveways, car parks,  dripping detergents, copper.  Lawns, especially if they are a gorgeous green: weed killers, fertilizers, insecticides. Homes: pest control chemicals, moss killer (very potent) car wash, rose spray and other garden chemicals.

Sampling can be expensive and tricky (sometimes the toxins come in a big pulse, like during rain or after lawn treatment) but when done right has verified their presence and toxicity. The animals get killed, whether it is a little at a time, or a lot every once in a while. All this stuff slides right into the nearshore, by way of stormwater. The only way to remove these poisons is by natural processing through soil microbes. Cultivated soil (lawns, gardens) is very weak in this regard compared to natural soils and plant communities.

Without a natural protective boundary, nearshore marine communities (nursery areas — do you hear that salmon fishers?) are vulnerable and are being killed.

I can’t understand why someone would go to all the trouble to live here, and then act in a way that would degrade this beautiful place

Mike Kaill, Friday Harbor


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