Dave Teitzel recently wrote a column about the City of Edmonds’ current financial difficulties, and the need to do some prioritization. I agree completely, and determining priorities is always hard given that everyone has their pet project.
I got to thinking about Hwy 99 and the Edmonds Marsh and how they fit within Edmonds spending. Hwy 99, while an essential piece of asphalt, is just a means to get from point A to point B. While I appreciate the businesses along it, there have been businesses there since I can remember (1950s). The Edmonds Marsh, meanwhile has diminished considerably in my lifetime. Into the early 1960s, there was still marsh and cattails north of Dayton Street. Then came Harbor Square and further encroachment. How long before developers completely obliterate the marsh?
If Edmonds invests in the protection and restoration of the marsh, it will have a jewel of a natural area that will attract thousands of nature lovers and observers every year. When my grandchild comes to visit, would I rather show him Hwy 99 or the marsh? Future generations will have the chance to watch salmon return every fall, to watch herons nest and to enjoy every aspect of this natural oasis. If, that is, we choose to invest in marsh protection and restoration now. I would choose investing in the Edmonds Marsh over Hwy 99 10 times out of 10, both for my sake and for all the generations that will follow when I am gone.