To the Editor:
A petition is circulating throughout Marion which asks Marion Selectmen to consider the Marion Open Space Commission be in charge of Spragues Cove at Silvershell Beach, rather than the Conservation Commission. The petition currently has 154 signatures as of this writing. Voters are angry that Marion ConCom tore up a working filtration system for stormwater at Silvershell Beach, installed a stonewall in the marsh without filing a permit, and destroyed habitat used by birds, turtles and waterfowl. Most people understand that invasives need to be taken out, but this action included ripping out shrubs and plantings put in by concerned citizens in the late 1990s to create a filtration system that was working. Why is it necessary to destroy a village to save it? Since this devastation occurred on the heels of news of wetland destruction at Washburn Park, voters are concerned that perhaps the wrong Commission is in charge.
Marion Open Space Commission, of which I was a member for seven years, has the experience and expertise to manage wetlands in a consistent and viable way. A subcommittee will be formed to step in should the Selectmen decide to do the right thing and turn the responsibility over to MOSAC. They have energy to care for wetlands as they already do in several areas of town, as well as the resilience to keep up with invasives without sacrificing the integrity of a working storm filtration system and ecologically balanced area.
I respectfully urge the Marion Selectmen to assign the future care of Spragues Cove to MOSAC.
Sue Maxwell Lewis, Marion
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