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Salem’s Winter Island should be no-turbine zone

I am opposed to the idea of a commercial/municipal wind turbine on Salem’s Winter Island.

I am also tired of being lectured to by the Renewable Energy Task Force about the virtues and benefits of wind power and the narrow-mindedness of Willows neighbors who dare to oppose such an allegedly economically, scientifically and morally justified commercial project.

It is time for all conservationists, fishermen, boaters, dog walkers, gardeners, bathers and lovers of Winter Island, the crown jewel of Salem’s park system, to speak out loudly against, to unalterably oppose and to defeat any attempt to site such a monstrosity on the pacific shores of this great historic and hallowed island.

The only lawful and appropriate uses of all land at Winter Island are set forth in and controlled by the deed to the city from the United States government – which states that it should be used for marine, recreation, conservation, open space and park uses only.

No matter how high-minded, well-intentioned or politically correct wind power is, the siting of such a massive, commercial turbine on this historic property is legally and morally wrong, and a gross misuse of invaluable, limited shoreline open space in the small and dense city of Salem.

Clearly the turbine is too high, too wide, too loud and too dangerous for this small island park.

Any conservationist in his or her right mind should be dedicated to the preservation, protection and defense of Winter Island for the use of all, including marine, recreation, education and conservation uses, on all areas of the island, at all times, in perpetuity.

Public land dedicated for marine, recreation, conservation and open space is inconsistent with any and every commercial use, even if the owner of the commercial use is a municipality, even if the proposed commercial use is for wind power.

The Salem zoning ordinance makes clear that “all islands,” including Winter Island, shall be used for residential and/or conservation purposes only. Commercial use is prohibited by law.

Finally, Winter Island’s open space, beaches and shoreline is protected for all future generations as a matter of law under Article 97 of the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

It is time to put the misguided and technocratic proponents of such a dense and massive commercial siting on such sacred conservation, maritime, recreation and park land on the defensive.

Find somewhere else for your vaunted commercial use. Stop trying to place such a gigantic, ungainly and hazardous use on this beautiful island.

Winter Island is a municipal natural resource of incomparable beauty and value.

The loss of even one acre of this priceless island for future generations is inexcusable, unimaginable and un-American.

Teddy Roosevelt would agree. So should you.

Edward M. Moriarty Jr.