Wildlife corridor should be protected | Letter to the editor

To the editor:

The city has voted on the Suzuki development plan but the current preferred stormwater dispersion option; to flood the attached 300-foot wildlife corridor, will destroy the established ecosystem and detrimentally impact the migration between Murden Cove and the northern Eagle Harbor watershed that this corridor supports.

In March 2017, the city engaged a Seattle environmental service assessment group to do an ecological assessment on the property in order to understand its environmental value and developmental value, both are present. Development has been decided and all parties have touted this project for its “balance” between development and respect for the environment. But there is no respect for the environment if the development plan includes the use of the 300-foot wildlife corridor as a stormwater dump. The stormwater contains road run-off, which is the number one pollutant in our water systems today. The dumping of contaminated stormwater into the corridor will pollute the freshwater pond, alter ground vegetation and destabilize tree root systems that become saturated.

Why is this corridor so important to our island? Not only does it contain multiple stages of forest, including the oldest growth of recorded trees on the island but the corridor is a fresh water link in the migratory chain between Murden Cove and the northern Eagle Harbor watershed. It is also recognized in a 2012 city study as a riparian corridor. Finally, the parcel contains seven different Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife-listed priority species from state-listed — sensitive; and candidate species; to vulnerable and tribal importance species. Since 2006, 51 various songbirds, 11 types of waterfowl, eight raptors, nine mammals, three amphibians and two reptiles have been sighted and recorded on this land. All information contained in this letter can be referenced from the ESA report at the following link: https://www.bainbridgewa.gov/DocumentCenter/View/8445/Suzuki-Property-Ecological-Assessment-Draft-Report?bidId=

If you’re concerned with the long-term health of our island ecosystems please contact the city council (council@bainbridgewa.gov) and let them, know they need to find a stormwater system that does not impact this tiny but significant wildlife corridor.

DIANNE STEVER

Bainbridge Island

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