Outrageous — Federal Protection of Beetle Forces Residents to Move Their Houses
Siouxsie loves beetles (or Beatles). Beetles are creepy, beautiful and a crucial part of our delicate ecosystem.
The Washington Post reports that some residents along the Chesapeake Bay will have to move their houses because of a federally protected beetle. This is what makes people hate environmental regulation. Federal laws are preventing folks in one tiny community from saving their homes. All because of a stupid beetle. Here are the details:
Homeowners in Calvert County, Maryland built their homes on the edge of a cliff on the Chesapeake Bay. These homes have a majestic view of the bay and a great resale value. But in recent years, these residents have lost nearly 15 feet of their property. The cliffs keep falling into the Bay due to erosion.
According to reports, homeowners are not able to get the required work permits to “fix” the cliffs and “stop” the erosion. This is because the cliff face is a federally protected natural habitat for an endangered species — the puritan tiger beetle. These little critters burrow themselves into the sides of the cliffs. It is estimated that there are only 2,000 of the beetles left (or 5,000, depending on the article).
The irony of the whole situation, which no one is reporting, is that this area is also home to a large nuclear power plant. The Calvert Cliffs Nuclear Power Plant in Lusby, Maryland was built in 1972, and in 2000, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission extended the plant’s life for twenty more years. So, while one federal agency is taking a steps to save a tiny little beetle, another one operates a giant nuclear facility right nearby, which could easily annihilate both the beetles and the residents.
Bonus: Here is the USFWS’s fact sheet on the Puritan tiger beetle.