No place for an OLF
Regarding the Sept. 14 story "Navy will submit new report on OLF site picks":
The announcement by the Navy that the Angola Bay Game Land on the Duplin-Pender county line is one of six sites being considered for an Outlying Landing Field is once again illustrative of ill-informed decision-making on the part of the Navy. Angola Bay has never been a suitable site for construction and infrastructure. The Duplin County soil survey maps the dominant soils of Angola Bay as poorly drained, organic Pamlico mucks and Pocomoke loam -- not good places to pave or build.
During droughts, wildfires are common and can burn deep into the organic soils. Significant on-site wetland acreage and downstream water quality would be degraded. Angola Bay is listed by the N.C. Natural Heritage Program as a Significant Natural Heritage Area supporting pocosin communities, endangered red cockaded woodpeckers and imperiled Venus flytraps. An OLF in Angola Bay is contrary to the North Carolina Naturally initiative that seeks to preserve key natural areas.
Angola Bay is not a pristine wilderness but is a large undeveloped tract in a rapidly developing part of the state. The Navy has consistently shown a lack of cultural as well as ecological sensitivity and sensibility on OLF issues.