Rav Freidel of Concerned Citizens of Montauk wrote the following Letter to the Editor on August 3, 2012 to the East Hampton Star:
I did it. I confess. I put up most of those “Tour for the Shore” road signs. They’re all about stopping pollution in the ocean. Right now the battle lines are being drawn between big energy and the fisheries and the Atlantic Ocean is up for grabs. I eat fish, not oil. I’m on the side of the fish and those who make their living catching them. I want an ocean where you and your kids can swim, surf, go sailing and enjoy yourselves free of sewage, sludge, medical waste, toxic dredge spoils and BP type oil spills. I want an end to the acidification of our sea caused by burning carbon-based fuels. They’re cooking the life out of the planet. Half the coral reefs are dead or dying. The rest, I’m told, will be gone in 25 years. As they disappear so do the fish.
Creating a Clean Ocean Zone from Cape May to Montauk Point and out to the continental shelf is a very complicated issue. We’re not Exxon/Mobil with unlimited budgets and virtually every politician in the country on our payroll. The only way to get our message across on a shoestring was to use these signs. I hope people visit cleanoceanzone.org and find out more and write their congressmen and senators and tell them they want the ocean protected! No drilling. No LNG facilities. No dumping. No spills. No pollution, period. The only industrialization will be for clean, renewable energy.
A lot of work went into creating these signs. By themselves each one looks terrific. But in mass, it’s an eyesore. They’re visual pollution. I hate it —even if it’s for a good cause. For my money, all these signs should be banned. East Hampton Village has it right. Create a designated area for signs and that’s it. That goes for good causes and bad, for carnivals and politicians.
On August 24, at noon, Margo Pellegrino and her kayak and Sean Dixon on his ten-speed will arrive at Turtle Cove under the Montauk Lighthouse and complete their 256-mile journey from Cape May. I urge you to come out and join them and show your support for the Clean Ocean Zone.
All the signs will be gone on August 25. But the need to protect the ocean will still remain.