Fracking Company Rescues Beach—But at What Cost?

Popular beach in Delaware Water Gap Nat'l Rec Area was to close

From the ‘Let’s hope this doesn’t become a regular thing’ department, a corporation stepped in to keep a government-run beach open where the sequester-addled National Park Service failed.

Milford Beach, a popular summer swimming area and canoe launch in the Delaware Gap National Recreation Area, was slated to close this summer after the government-mandated punch in the gut known as sequestration cut operating funds from this national park unit.

Nearly 5 million people visited the park last year, making it the tenth most visited unit in the National Park System.

After locals in Milford, Penn. launched a campaign to “Keep Milford Beach Open,” energy giant Kinder Morgan, which operates the nearby Tennessee Gas Pipeline, donated $41,000 to cover the shortfall.

That pipeline is currently undergoing an expansion called the Northeast Upgrade Project to keep up with Pennsylvania’s Marcellus Shale fracking boom, and residents are none too pleased about the tree clearing and potential environmental degradation that comes with it, reports the Pike County Courier.

Even Christopher Graham, one of the leaders of the movement to keep the beach open, is skeptical of the donation. “Is this merely a political move, a tax write-off, or is there something more they expect from us?” he told the Courier.

Behold, a model for our austere future, everybody: fund the parks with the corporate equivalent of “We’re good, right?”

Via National Parks Traveler.

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