NJ, US bungled scheme to build artificial reefs

Regarding the Dec. 13 editorial, “New Jersey late to the Delaware Bay reef-building party”:

The real problem with New Jersey’s reef program is that it started with dishonesty on its application for U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service funding. The state said it was going to build reefs in New Jersey waters but built only two there and used the lion’s share to build 13 reefs in federal waters. That was a misappropriation of USFWS funding. And because New Jersey does not control reef sites in federal waters, the federal service violated its own regulations by allowing those funds to be used on federal waters projects instead of demanding repayment of about $5 million.

USFWS ignored the violations because it thought it was “buying” these federal sites to help recreational fishermen. It got the state to seek federal establishment of special management zones that would turn the federal reefs into areas where only recreational style fishing was allowed. That hasn’t happened because denying commercial fishermen the only viable commercial fishery (traps) that is possible on these federal reef sites would be a violation of federal reef management law.

Yes, New Jersey is late to the Delaware Bay reef building party, because of this effort to “buy” recreational reef sites in federal waters.

Walter Chew

Cape May Court House

Tax reform may not drive economic growth

The planned tax reform might create less of a benefit than its supporters purport. Their math projects a 2.9 percent economic rate of growth over 10 years.

But I doubt the working class will get a matching wage increase, and think small businesses will face higher interest rates if they want a loan to expand. And I doubt retiree’s benefits will expand at the same rate.

The tax reform might just be a Trojan horse.

Ed Dean

Somers Point