New Essay in Encore: Oyster Feud Behind Masonboro Island

Hi all,

Some of you may remember that I wrote a story for Salt Magazine towards the end of last year about local oyster farmer Tom Cannon, who had just started an oyster farm in the pristine waters of Masonboro Sound (if you haven’t read it yet, you can do so here). Unfortunately, Tom’s farm has caught the eye and ire of a few of the wealthy homeowners on the bluff overlooking it, and it’s affected other potential farmers of the area. The Star News ran a story last week in which they interviewed Dr. Hormoze Goudarzi, a local surgeon and owner of the house immediately near Tom’s farm; Dr. Goudarzi whinged that the farm ruined his view and was a hazard to navigation. This story garnered a lot of attention around town, and as a result of it, I decided to write about it again to set the record straight.

The thesis of this essay is that no one person, regardless of wealth or social status, owns more of a right to the water than anyone else. I would further argue that there are underlying class issues at play here, as well. The water has a long history of being in the public trust, which I go into in depth in the essay, and no millionaire complaining about his view can take that away.

So here is my small attempt to speak truth to power. Enjoy the essay — you can read it here.

Next week: Will our local government decide to incentivize the re-opening of a National Gypsum plant after a forecasted increase of formaldehyde emissions?

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