Instead of the fight against Titan being solely about our fragile ecosystem (which is of course fragile, being composed of highly bio-diverse wetlands), citizens ought to look at the community needs with an interdisciplinary perspective. How can the entire area people make an economy effective while preserving environmental integrity?
I think the answer is resilience through localizing. We can reinstate community interaction by producing and spending locally - less production of commodity that is to be exported for other regions and/or nations. There would be little economic return to New Hanover County residents when so much of the Titan's profit will go straight to corporate headquarters.
So instead providing jobs through Titan's cement corporation, New Hanover County needs to implement policy and investments in sustainable initiatives - to ensure not only environmental, but also equitable and economical viability. Maybe investing time and funds into improved city planning--the efforts spent on the great Titan debate and applying it to community "charettes" to see specifically what residents want and need--would bring economic prosperity to our home. Planning could incorporate WALK-ABILITY and BIKE-ABILITY, and maybe one day we would have less paved, impermeable infrastructure, reducing the need for, yet again, one more cement-producing plant.
Improving presence and quality of life in town will reinstate the resident's passion for the area they call home, finding identity once again in the characteristics of the Cape Fear. A cement plant could be placed anywhere - why should it become our identity?
I am away from home, attending Appalachian State University, but as I receive the periodic (but recently more frequent) Titan updates, I have the wish that any citizen would begin/continue attending city/town council meetings for their voice to be heard, representing their neighborhood or community partnerships. I have the hope that Wilmington, Castle Hayne, Burgaw, WB, CB, Southport, and every region's residents will fight for resilience thinking. If YOU will do this, I will uphold my end, making sure that the people I meet on daily basis from the Cape Fear River Basin know what Titan is and where they are trying to move.
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