Pinellas County is a destination. As a lifelong resident who is immersed in our marine culture — from the beaches to the now-pristine nurseries of our bay grass flats — I am outraged by this aspect being but a footnote in the cruise ship discussion.
I have personally witnessed the tragic effects of dredging sensitive grass flats as well as the local pollution a major seaport for cruise ships poses. I find it sad and ironic to be attracting people here to hop on a ship and sail away to a “destination” while we are potentially destroying our own paradise.
I encourage the Times to invest more time and research into the “why” of a new seaport, not just the “where” and “how.” We have the world’s best experts close at hand to address that issue. Many have worked hard for years to protect our precious marine culture.
If the new mega port happens, in my opinion those seeking a “dream cruise” will leave the citizens of Pinellas County with a nightmare.
Stephen A. Updegraff, St. Petersburg
Letters to the Editor, Tampa Bay Times
July 20, 2014
In response to the “Cruising for ideas on Tampa Bay’s costly mega ship problem”