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Sunday, April 11, 2021

Opinion: Pristine Sussex Land Slated for Development Should be Saved

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Karen Igou
Karen Igou
Karen Igou is a long time environmental and social activist and owner of a farm to table grocery and grab and go eatery in Trolley Square, Wilmington.

Old Mill Landing photo courtesy of Oya Alatur

Old-growth forest and pristine wildlands are set to be destroyed to make way for more development and more flooding in Sussex County.

The Old Mill Landing Development application for 227 single-family homes to be put on 184 acres in Sussex County spells disaster for this already overdeveloped area. This project will be on the north bank of Dirickson Creek in an Environmentally Sensitive Development District partially included in the FEMA floodplain.
 
With our climate and species crisis threatening our very survival, we must protect this land and habitat. The old-growth forest there are the most effective tools we have for sequestering carbon and creating the biodiversity that our declining insect and bird populations so desperately need to survive. 30 acres of old-growth forest will be clearcut for this project.
 
The wetland areas on the property provide habitat for insects, birds, amphibians and fish and help protect Dirickson Creek which is already heavily polluted. This will be made worse by pollution that will certainly be run off by human activity in this sensitive area. DNREC wrote: “Development of this parcel as currently proposed will contribute to the decline of water quality in the greater Inland Bays”
 
 
 
This development will have negative impacts on the existing communities in the area and will lower property values. Already there is heavy traffic congestion, stretched thin emergency services, unsafe bike and pedestrian paths, dangerous road and intersection conditions, and of course flooding. As a federal taxpayer, I will be subsidizing the flood insurance for this development with my tax dollars. I, and you, will be paying so that folks can clearcut this pristine land and cause even more flooding! It is the definition of insanity. Not to mention that according to the Center for the Inland Bays, this federal flood insurance program is already 20 billion in debt.
 
Finally, according to the Delaware State Historic Preservation Office, there are 10 native tribal archaeological sites on the land that need thorough evaluation and  if applicable,  preservation.
 
What can you do?  
 
 
Write emails to the Sussex County Planning and Zoning Commission on this site: ( https://sussexcountyde.gov/planning-zoning-commission ). 
 
Write letters to the Sussex County Planning and Zoning Commission at: Planning & Zoning Office, PO Box 417, Georgetown, DE 19947.  Write to your county councilperson if you live in Sussex County.  https://sussexcountyde.gov/county-council  Email or call Governor Carney and Senator Coons’ office.
 
Deforestation in Sussex County is running rampant.  We must work together to save our wildlands from being developed. Once they are gone we can not get them back.
 
TSD welcomes opinion pieces for consideration on all sides of all issues
 
 
 
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