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Shirley Kressel’s Testimony on the Tidelands Bill (H3757)
Comment re: H3757 – An Act Regarding the Licensing Requirements for
Landlocked Filled Tidelands

From Shirley Kressel
To Rep. Frank Smizik and Sen. Pamela Resor, Co-Chairs, Committee on
Environment and Agriculture

April 5, 2007

I am a landscape architect/urban designer, and co-founder and president of the Alliance of Boston Neighborhoods, a city-wide good-government group.

I am writing to oppose H 3757. This bill would, on the disingenuous pretext of "unclouding" property titles and the specious defense of "economic development," perpetuate the deprivation of the citizenry of its rights on public-trust tidelands.

I endorse the comments submitted by a group of local legislators, including my own, Senator Stephen Tolman and Representative Martha Walz, opposing the bill.

My opinions are fully expressed by testimony submitted by John Andrews, President of the Massachusetts Coalition for Healthy Communities, whose board I have proudly joined.

I ask the Committee to defeat this legislation and other proposals that would reduce the public voice in decision-making on public trust tidelands and deprive the public of the value of our common natural assets in favor of private profit.

Experience has shown that the best project designs emerge from a process that properly balances public and private interests in a framework of long-term environmental protection and defense against privatization of the public realm. Indeed, private developers are major beneficiaries of such a process and such protections, as the value of their location is protected from exploitation and degradation by future projects.

I look forward to action by the Committee that protects the community and the environment in these public-trust lands. Your constituents, the residents of Massachusetts current and future, depend on you to be the trustees of their heritage.

Sincerely,

Shirley Kressel


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