Letter to the Editor: Concern expressed over Vesta project

Published 12:54 pm Monday, January 2, 2023

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To whom it may concern,

I am writing to express my concern and outrage over the planned Vesta Project for the waters off Duck, North Carolina.

My family has been vacationing on the Outer Banks for over 50 years. More specifically, we have owned a home in the Tuckahoe development in Duck, NC since 1986.

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I have read the proposed project and fervently reject the idea of moving forward with any such proposal at this time. Given the fact that this “substance” has no real world testing makes it truly objectionable to introduce to our coastline. And, let’s face it, due to ocean currents, likely parts of the eastern seaboard. Can it leach into the Chesapeake Bay? How can anyone in good conscience apply a substance with unknown consequences to our beautiful and pristine beaches? Beaches that for years we have safeguarded, protected and brought millions of tourist to our coast.

You can cite the potential “good,” but let’s focus on the potential bad. How do we know what Vesta/Olivine will do to humans and wildlife? How do you know it won’t drift through currents to other areas? Specifically, do we know what chemicals will be leached into our waters? One of the primary chemicals in this product is nickel, which is a known carcinogen. Why do we have to be a guinea pig for a FOR PROFIT company? This company is Norwegian. Why don’t they test it in their waters first? Why do they have NO PLAN FOR REMEDIATION if this becomes an environmental hazard? How do we know this won’t affect the fishing and seafood industry that is very dependent on these waters for their livelihood. Do we WANT TO EAT FOOD harvested from water with a chemical that has no known real consequences? These should be LARGE, GLARING red flags that no logical person would support.

Further, ARE YOU GOING TO NOTIFY EVERY RENTER FOR THE COMING THE SEASON that a virtually unknown, experimental substance with unknown impact will be applied to the waters off Duck? ARE YOU GOING TO POST SIGNS AT ALL PUBLIC BEACH ACCESSES stating this fact? ARE YOU GOING TO NOTIFY BEACH COMMUNITIES to the north and south of Duck of this project and give them an opportunity to weigh in? Has the state of Virginia been notified?

People have a right to know what they are swimming, walking and fishing in. The potential ecological effects could affect property values and tourism for these areas as well. It seems to me this project has been kept under the radar from far too many that could be heavily impacted.

We all want a safe, clean environment. However, I don’t understand why the ocean off Duck, NC should be the experimental lab for this product.

I have copied the necessary local, state and federal representatives in this email.  I will be posting to all applicable Facebook pages for the surrounding communities and newspapers. I implore everyone to reject this project in the interest of public and environmental safety.


Wendy Heuer

Duck homeowner