I watched the Morro Bay Tourism Bureau meeting where Michelle Jacquez proposed fireworks be added to the Harbor Festival. Her reasoning was that this would lure people staying in the motels she manages (Best Westerns) to stay an extra night. She would benefit.
The cost of fireworks is approximately $1,000 per minute! The city of Morro Bay has contributed $5,000 to assist the Harbor Festival this year, but as a taxpayer I do not want any of this “gift” to be used to support fireworks. The city could use that money to benefit our police, fire, and harbor patrol as they must oversee visitors who attend these events and might need assistance.
The Coastal Commission requires a permit to shoot off fireworks over the bay; I do not know if the city has gotten this permit. Our wildlife and domestic pets are frightened by the booming noise and flashes of light from fireworks.
The city calls itself a bird sanctuary. The city representatives say they value our wildlife and that we want to encourage people to come here and enjoy it, but this fireworks display says otherwise. We have a lovely increased population of shore birds in the estuary in October; the bay is the home to endangered sea otters (with new babies added to their group); we have seals and sea lions and many other animals. We are fortunate to have the endangered peregrine falcons nesting and raising their young on Morro Rock. We have a bay and sand spit full of wildlife that will be frightened away by this needless fireworks display. I oppose fireworks at the Harbor Festival and will not attend the event this year.
-- Lynda Merrill - Morro Bay