1984 Scorecard Vote
The vote is on whether to transfer lands within the Cape Hatteras National Seashore and Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge to the Army Corps of Engineers. The Corps wanted to construct some environmentally destructive jetties at Oregon Inlet, between two islands off the North Carolina coast. The project would remove up to 150 acres of land from a National Park and National Wildlife Refuge, and cause serious erosion along miles of beaches. It would degrade the area's scenic value and the wildlife habitat of several species, including the threatened loggerhead turtles. Surf fishing in the area, which now attracts 100,000 visitors a year, would also suffer. The project is intended to increase ocean access for larger fishing boats, but it is very doubtful whether these alleged benefits would outweigh the costs, or whether the jetties could withstand the powerful ocean currents in this area. Continued channel dredging is an alternative which would cost less and would not have the severe environmental impacts of jetty construction.
The vote is on the Seiberling amendment to strike the authorization of the land transfer needed for constructing the jetties. Seiberling defeated 194-203; September 20, 1984. YES is the pro-environmental vote. (Seiberling amendment to strike Title IV of the Wetlands Resources bill, H.R. 3082.) The Reagan Administration was split, with the Interior Department supporting the amendment and the Army Corps of Engineers opposing it. The jetty proposal died in the Senate in 1984, but is likely to come up again.