by Angela Clark
April 06, 2005
Dear Jerry and all Ketchikan residents,
In response to your warning from a twelve year old I am compelled to write a warning letter to you in regards to the industrial tourism that invades our small community each summer. Your comment "I have seen the enemy and he is us" This comment is ludicrous. Also, "If they want to see trash and litter they can stay home and save their money. Why should they come here to look at our trash and pay to do it?"
Who do you work for again? The Borough or the tourism industry? Think about this, Four toilets flushing, One shower and five pounds of assorted trash per person per day. Figure on seven days per cruise. Multiply these rather conservative figures by 600,000 and throw in a sizable figure for the crew of each vessel. Where do all of those millions of gallons of slop and refuse go? The sad truth is... the Inside Passage. Like it or not Jerry, I do not support this kind of uncontrolled growth of cruise tourism.
The nature of some of the chemicals being discharged from these ships is cause for serious concern. As well as sewage, cruise ship discharge can include oily waste water and toxic chemicals such as dry cleaning and photo lab solutions. As well, air emissions of cruise ships are a major source of nitrous oxides, sulfur oxides and diesel particulate matter.
December 14, 2004, Holland American Cruise Line agreed to a two million plea agreement for dumping sewage in Juneau. The offense was only considered a misdemeanor charge. The offending ship was the Ryndam. Just recently the same cruise line was sited in Hawaii dumping "brown" water for twenty minutes. The offending ship was the Statendam.
Do the names of these ships sound familiar? Come tourism season this year they will all be visiting our port once again and they will be overflowing with sludge and corporate greed.
I urge you all to follow the ships path to Alaska on the web site titled cruisejunkie.com, from this site you can monitor all of the illnesses, sexual attacks and environmental impacts that occur every year. This town needs to prioritize saving our environment here, it is our most important resource, not tourism!
I would also like to say that cleanliness starts at home and we need to get back to educating our children about the serious littering problem we have here. What happened to Woodsy Owl and 'Give a hoot, don't pollute'? I would wear the costume and donate my time to help with this problem. I think it would be a much more positive approach.
You will not see me or my children cleaning on Revilla Road on April 16. Instead we have vowed to clean up our own neighborhood. The reward they will receive will be a life long value that they will share with others as they grow older. As a reminder, WEAR THICK RUBBER GLOVES, and all children cleaning should have an adult with them. Some trash can be extremely dangerous and approached with caution.
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