Letter: Owning property requires good stewardship, by law or not
Other than what I read in this space, I know next to nothing about "Agenda 21" and the alleged United Nations plan to dictate property rights in Gloucester/Mathews. Frankly, I doubt that any such conspiracy exists, but I accept that others may have a different opinion. Most of the letters posted here against this Agenda 21 seem to be concerned with the destruction of wetlands, both tidal and non-tidal, by property owners who already live in, or want to build in, these areas. I don’t live on the water. Would like to, but can’t afford it.
Still, on my little two acres, I try to be a good steward of the land. I know that things I do to it can positively or negatively affect my neighbors’ quality of life as well as my own. Because of the possible effects on others, those living in, or owning property in, areas with a wetlands classification have an even greater responsibility to care for the land and to leave as little a human footprint as possible. Owning land on the water does not grant you the right to do anything you want. Instead, it gives you a responsibility to preserve your land as close to its natural state as possible, and to contribute as little as possible to the fouling of the water and the destruction of habitat.
The law won’t let you build a bulkhead? There’s a reason for that, and you knew it when you moved in. Can’t cut down those 100-year-old trees so you get a better view of the water, build a pier that destroys the marsh grasses, or truck in tons of topsoil to fill in the wetlands? You knew that, too. Can’t put in a septic system that fouls the river? Thank you for good laws.
Every citizen has a right to lobby against what he/she believes are damaging their private property rights. Do it responsibly, with fair consideration for the results of your actions on others. Do not use allegations about some world-wide "conspiracy" to justify unsound arguments.