October 24, 2008 at 6:50pm
For those who would like to comment on the proposed bombing range expansion on the Neuse River/Rattan Bay, the deadline is next Friday October 31, 2008. The reason for the expansion according to the Marine Corps is for more operationalflexibility in the use of 50 cal. machine guns mounted on patrol boats and helicopters.
At this time the Marine Corps would like to pass this through on a EA (Environmental Assessment)with a FONSI (Finding of No Significant Impact).
Before any expansion should be allowed to occur, a thorough examination of exiting lead and ordinance contamination should be conducted. The impacts of spreading the area of contamination should be addressed, the impacts on adjaecent bird nesting colonies on Raccoon Island and Swan Island should be addressed, inlcuding measures to prevent the wildfires caused by range use from occurring on Raccoon or Swan Is.
In addition to these and other environmental concerns, any expansion in use would severely limit commercial and recreational fishing, duck hunting and boating in the area. Access to the states best red drum fishing would be restricted.
Mail Written Comments To:
Environmental Affairs Department (Range EA)
Natural Resources Division
PSC Box 8006
Cherry Point , N.C. 28533
Fax Your Comments To: