A debate is raging over the use of Plum Island. The island off the coast of Longs Island has been home to the Animal Disease Center. The place where the really nasty stuff that can kill thousands of us gets examined.
Nobody who is not authorized by the government has been on the island for 50 years and no one can talk about what they do or see there kind of nasty stuff. In this day of information overload, this is a place that keeps it’s secrets.
But with the infinite wisdom of our government, they are spending half a billion dollars to move the research center to Kansas. Yep, where there are lots of animals right outside of the research facility instead of protected by a body of water. Our government at work, but that is another topic for another day.
Now the battle is, what do we do with Plum Island? It is smack dab in the New York metropolitan region and the land is worth a fortune. Jutting out into the Long Island Sound off Long Island’s Gold Coast, Plum Island is a developers dream. We all know the value of undeveloped land where everything is developed.
A hearing was held Wednesday in Old Saybrook, Conn., and another is scheduled for Thursday night in Greenport, N.Y. Besides the laboratory, the island is home to a defunct U.S. Army base and a charming lighthouse that looks out onto Long Island Sound.
Possible uses for the island include turning it into a nature preserve or developing it as a resort. via AP
But the developers are fighting with the environmentalists over Plum Island. The environmentalist want to save it for the bird watchers, the developers want to create wealth and prosperity.
The Connecticut Fund for the Environment/Save the Sound, the Fishers Island Conservancy, the Connecticut chapter of the Nature Conservancy and a new organization, the Preserve Plum Island Coalition, comprising 24 environmental groups and experts, began making their case to the federal government, which owns the island, at two meetings this week. The meetings, in Old Saybrook Wednesday and Greenport, L.I., Thursday, were held to give the public a chance to comment on the planned sale of the island once the lab moves to a new, $450 million facility in Manhattan, Kan. Design work for the new lab is under way. via The Day
Now the battle is who will win. And what is best for the economic and quality of life concerns of those in the region. It will be interesting to watch.