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Gualala divided over fireworks

Independence Day event stalls
after complaints over impact on seabirds

by Bob Norberg
The Press Democrat
June 27, 2007

A quarter-acre rock 100 yards from shore, where thousands of seabirds nest, has become the front line in Gualala’s war over an Independence Day fireworks celebration.

“It is the Fourth of July, we are celebrating our Independence Day like thousands of towns around the country,” said Marshall Sayegh of the Gualala Festivals Committee . . .

Critics, however, contend that the noise and bursts of light startle birds on Gualala Point Island a mile away into frenzied flight, some abandoning nests and eggs.

“If they could have seen what I saw or heard what I heard, they wouldn’t be setting off the fireworks,” said Linda Keir, a Sea Ranch resident. “It was not one bird or two birds; it was hundreds of birds.”

The debate has bitterly divided coastal residents . . .

The full article is available on the
Santa Rosa Press Democrat website.