Subject: “Seattle Borrows Additional $20M for Aquarium Waterfront Project” [Aug. 16, Local News]:
Recently, the Seattle City Council approved $20 million in real estate tax funds (REET) to save the Seattle Aquarium’s wriggling tropical shark tank. Funded by taxpayers, REET is intended solely to fund infrastructure that benefits all Seattle residents.
The sharks may be “drawn” from the South Pacific, further ruining the ecological balance of our oceans and contributing to climate change, habitat destruction and species extinction. Seattle is gearing up for a Blackfish 2.0, but with sharks. Additionally, this tank requires daily pumping of water from Elliott Bay and must be heated and filtered, then cooled and filtered again before being returned to the bay.
Unfortunately, the Seattle Aquarium has more of an impact on the city council than the taxpaying citizens. Council members Alex Pedersen and Kshama Sawant voted against this funding. The rest of the council, particularly Seattle Aquarium board member Andrew Lewis, may reconsider their priorities for the REET fund and decide to eliminate this budget item.
Seattle Mayor Bruce Harrell may also remove this item from the annual budget. This project contrasts with his Seattle Climate Action Plan and Green New Deal. Hopefully Mayor Harrell decides to spend REET funds for the good of all.
Hannah Thompson-Garner, Bellevue, Director of Advocacy and Missionary Advancement, Northwest Animal Rights Network (NARN)