Bay Bridge Enterprises, based in Virginia, wants to build a ship-breaking facility to cut apart old military ships for recycling. A 59-vessel fleet of them is rusting in Suisun Bay near Benicia, Calif. Bay Bridge wants to tow these vessels up to Oregon for dismantling.
If dioxins, metals or other harmful substances are released into Yaquina Bay, the fear is they would cause outright damage to the bay, or concentrate up the food chain. These ships contain: polychlorinated biphenyls (cancer-causing PCBs), lead/chromate paint, oils, waste fuel, mercury, lead, cadmium, benzene, and asbestos that could affect bay life, including crabs, birds, oysters, commercial and sport fisheries, and HUMANS.
And the benefits to Oregonians and the residents of the Newport area? Seventy-five to 125 family wage jobs.
The Port of Newport came within days of approving this risky business, without asking for any input from the citizens of Newport and Lincoln County. Well, they've been getting lots of input now! The vast majority says: "NO WAY!"
There was a big, overflow meeting with about 300 pissed-off residents at the Embarcadero in Newport, Oregon on December 6. The meeting lasted 5 ½ hours!
Meanwhile, Port of Newport General Manager Don Mann says: "We continue to support the jobs they're offering." Please (politely) let Don know what YOU think at email@example.com
Mailing Address: Port of Newport, 600 SE Bay Blvd., Newport, OR 97365
Phone: (541) 265-7758
Fax: (541) 265-4235
The decision will be made sometime in January, 2006.
A partial list of concerns:
1. Both the Oregon Coast Aquarium and nearby Hatfield Marine Science Center draw high-quality water from Yaquina Bay. Officials at both facilities fear pollution runoff.
2. There are 157 invasive species in San Francisco Bay where the Ghost Fleet resides, and 51 in Coos Bay. That means there are 100 invasive species in the San Francisco Bay area that are not here.
3. Yaquina Bay is a continentally Important Bird Area, with several endangered species present.
4. There are 15 or more blue heron nests and other bird species on the tide flats near the proposed shipbreaking site.
5. The tides extend 15 miles up the Yaquina River. The largest oyster farm in Oregon could be affected.
6. The money-spending tourists will not be viewing these rusting hulks as an asset to the beautiful Oregon coast.
7. The beautiful Portlanders who come to the coast for rest and relaxation will certainly not be pleased with these monstrosities.
By the way, Oregon's DEQ has NO EXPERIENCE dealing with shipbreaking operations!
Local news articles about this invasion of our coastal waters: