Letter to Editor: NOAA Gives Governor Walker $840,000 to Study Lake Michigan Erosion. Bribe?

Governor Walker:

I am bitterly disappointed at your patronizing response to me and those who contacted you in opposition to the proposed NOAA sanctuary in Lake Michigan.

Yes, I am aware that there were many letters of support in 2014 - they were not based on any factual information but on prewritten resolutions and fluffy canned paragraphs. It wasn't until December of 2016 that the onerous sanctuary regulations were finally published. We had until the close of public comments on March 31, 2017, only three months, to review what NOAA had taken EIGHT years to compile and promulgate. The sanctuary had it roots in the 2008: "Wisconsin's Historic Shipwrecks - An Overview and Analysis of Locations for a State/Federal Partnership with the National Marine Sanctuary Program". Coincidentally, that report was funded by NOAA.

As I hope you are well aware, a Memorandum Of Understanding is not legally binding. The scenario depends on who might be in office at the time but generally would go something like this: NOAA: "You wanted to talk to us about the sanctuary?" Wisconsin: "Yeah, we've got some problems, blah,blah, blah.." NOAA: "OK Thanks Bye."

What is a real slap in the face is the press release the NEXT DAY saying you accepted an $875 thousand dollar grant from NOAA to "map shoreline recession...improve hazard planning...and provide guidance... The program awards funds for innovative coastal initiatives." I think feel a thrill up my leg.

That grant does nothing but aid and abet those who only pontificate, bloviate and create Powerpoints - they don't create any value-added product or directly help those who might lose real property. Lake Michigan water level was record high in the mid-1980's - I know, I had neighbors lose their homes. There were plenty of studies, evaluations, analysis and hot air at that time - didn't we learn anything then?

I no longer believe you're the "small government" kind of guy you've led us to believe you are.


Doug Hamilton

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