Boat ramp site makes no sense

Rappahannock Record, April 10, 2014

My husband and I purchased a new home on Dymer Creek in 2003. We decided to be good stewards of the earth by planting grasses along the waters edge as part of a “living shoreline.”

Two years ago we asked the wetlands board for permission to build a small retaining wall at the base of a very old holly tree that was sliding down the bank. A wetlands board member visited our site but allowed only impermanent coconut husk coir logs because of their minimal impact on the grasses we planted.

Imagine our surprise when we learned of the county’s plans to build a public boat ramp with 35 parking spaces for cars and trailers. According to the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries boat ramp construction guidlelines, parking lots of this size will accommodate 80 boat launches a day. Do our supervisors hope to attract many boaters from outside the county yet require our taxpayers to build and maintain the boat ramp for the visitors’ pleasure?

The erosion caused by the wake from so many fishing boats, wake board boats and jet skis will surely cause exponentially more damage to the shoreline of this narrow waterway than any 50-foot rock support wall. Are the environmental agencies monitoring the county’s actions as closely as they monitor ours?

Will the county now allow more residents to build riprap revetments to protect their properties? Then what will happen to the wetlands that we have worked so hard to develop and retain? Does a ramp in this location make environmental sense?

Lynne Engstrom
White Stone

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