ENVIRONMENTAL ALERT!!!! DANGER! DANGER!
Save The Mosquito Lagoon!
Oppose the Proposed MINWR Launch Site!
Space Florida and Governor Rick Scott want NASA to give the State control of 150 acres of Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge property. They want to build a commercial launch site outside of NASA so they don’t have the red tape and regulations of working with NASA.
If you bird, fish, hunt, or paddle the lagoons I probably don’t need to explain the negative impact this would have on your recreation.
The 40 endangered species that make their homes here probably think it’s not a good idea either. They can neither vote nor write letters.
Obviously, a massive publicity and letter writing campaign (sample letter below- feel free to copy/modify) needs to start immediately so we can keep this complex on either the NASA property or Canaveral Air Force Station.
If you think a new space complex on what is now national wildlife refuge property is a bad idea, send a letter or email to Governor Scott, Senators Bill Nelson and Marco Rubio, your congressional representative, and your state senator and state representative to let them know. You can find them at these links:
Dear PERSON TO WHOM YOU ARE SENDING THE EMAIL,
I am very strongly opposed to Space Florida building any type of launch facility within the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge. One million people a year visit this refuge to bird, fish, hunt, kayak, see manatees, and other outdoor-related activities. Those people could easily go elsewhere, depriving the surrounding communities of badly needed tourist dollars.
Forty threatened and endangered species make their homes here. It’s not like they can go elsewhere. The remaining wild areas that could be occupied by them already is.
The NASA property has more than enough space for the proposed 150 acres that Space Florida says they need. Let them purchase the property from NASA if they want to avoid NASA red tape.
A commercial launch facility is not compatible with the stated mission of the national wildlife refuge: “To administer a national network of lands and waters for the conservation, management, and where appropriate, restoration of the fish, wildlife, and plant resources and their habitats within the United States for the benefit of the present and future generations of Americans.”
I look forward to hearing your views on this important topic.
YOUR NAME HERE
I sent this letter to Layne Hamilton, Administrator at the MINWR. She responded:
“Thank you for your comments concerning the Space Florida launch pad proposal. Because the refuge has secondary ownership rights to the refuge land that overlays Kennedy Space Center (under an interagency agreement between NASA and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service), land use decisions related to space-related activities are solely NASA’s. In response to Space Florida’s proposal for NASA to excess 150 acres to the State for development of a commercial space port, NASA informed the State they will not excess any land, although they are willing to discuss leasing facilities/land to the state for commercial use as a space port. As part of the decision-making process, an environmental study will be completed (Environmental Impact Statement – EIS) by either NASA, FAA, the State, or a combination of agencies. At this point we do not know if a launch site will be approved for Space Florida, or if approved, where it will be located.
“Again, thank you for your concerns and please feel free to contact me if you want to discuss further.”
Layne L. Hamilton
Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge Complex
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
P.O. Box 2683
Titusville, FL 32781
Save The Mosquito Lagoon! Oppose the Proposed MINWR Launch Site!
All content in this blog, including writing and photos, copyright John Kumiski 2013. All rights are reserved.