CONSENSUS STATEMENT

In defense of North SeaTac Park,

A 200-Acre Urban Oasis adjacent to SeaTac Airport

and the health and welfare of the people who live

in the communities surrounding this park

December, 2021

I. WHEREAS

North SeaTac Park was promised to the people in compensation for the severe impacts of SeaTac Airport

Therefore: The Port of Seattle, which owns the airport, the park, and many acres of land in the communities surrounding it, must honor that promise by refraining from commercial development inside the park and by preserving the natural areas in and near it that protect its essential nature as a park and that safeguard the health and lives of the people in this community

II. WHEREAS

People who live in the communities surrounding North SeaTac Park experience disproportionate harm from proximity to SeaTac Airport, including pollution, noise, heat, and traffic, all of which are connected with shorter life spans, premature births, low birth weights, and a wide range of other negative health impacts

And Seattle-King County Health Department recommends that, because trees, particularly coniferous trees, reduce human exposure to the particular forms of pollution caused by the operation of SeaTac Airport, more coniferous trees should be planted within 10 miles of SeaTac Airport

And Over decades, Port of Seattle actions have caused the tree canopy in SeaTac, where SeaTac Airport is sited, to be significantly lower than in surrounding communities or nationally

Therefore: The Port of Seattle must immediately cease all further deforestation in this community and must preserve and expand, on the land it owns, the forest and trees that protect people from the deadly impacts of its operations

III. WHEREAS

Addressing climate instability is a paramount duty of all governments, including the Port of Seattle

And The Port of Seattle, as well as the federal, state, county, and local governments that are entrusted with protecting the health and welfare of the people living in the communities around North SeaTac Park have all made commitments to effectively address climate instability

And People in the communities surrounding North SeaTac Park are more severely impacted by the increased heat, wildfire smoke and other harms of climate change than people elsewhere in the region

And Universal consensus, both scientific and social, supports halting deforestation and increasing healthy tree canopy as critical to slowing climate destabilization

And Research establishes that mature trees, like those inside and surrounding North SeaTac Park, provide climate stabilizing benefits that newly-planted trees take decades of growth to provide

Therefore: The Port of Seattle must immediately cease all further deforestation in this community and must act with urgency and effectiveness to, first, preserve its existing mature trees and, second, to plant more trees, particularly coniferous trees, on land it owns here and cannot claim with scientific credibility to compensate for the destruction of many acres of mature trees with the planting of new trees

Furthermore: We call upon elected officials in the federal, state, county, and local governments that are entrusted with protecting the health and welfare of the people in the communities surrounding this park to support with words and actions a moratorium on further deforestation in this community and investments to restore and expand existing forest here

IV. WHEREAS

North SeaTac Park and its surrounding forest and waterways are integral to a complex ecosystem that is part of the natural wealth and heritage of this region providing incalculable benefits and connecting with the very heart of our cultural and individual identity as well as our emotional and physical health in ways that transcend cost and benefit calculations

And The headwaters and multiple tributaries of Miller Creek, numerous wetland areas, and Tub Lake, a prehistoric peat bog and the last surviving true bog in the area, all are situated within North SeaTac Park and depend for their health on the trees and forest in and around the park which shade them, absorb pollutants that would otherwise enter them, and protect them from erosion, heat, flood, and drought

And Destruction of any substantial part of this ecosystem weakens the whole through habitat fragmentation and thinning of natural buffers that protect it from surrounding commercial and residential development

Therefore: The Port of Seattle must immediately cease all further deforestation in this community and must act with urgency and effectiveness to enact special protections for the complex ecosystem that its operations endanger

V. WHEREAS

The forest within North SeaTac Park is essential to recreational and cultural amenities within the park which are regional destinations, and that significantly improve the quality of life of the people living in these communities and this region

Therefore: The Port of Seattle must honor its commitments to preserve this forest and this park

Furthermore: We call upon elected officials in the federal, state, county, and local governments that are entrusted with protecting the health and welfare of the people in the communities surrounding this park to support with words and actions a moratorium on further deforestation in this community and investments to restore and expand existing forest here

This matter is urgent. In December 2021, the Port of Seattle is believed to be proceeding with plans for extensive deforestation in this community under its Sustainable Airport Master Plan that may result in the loss of dozens of acres of mature, life-saving trees. Therefore, this statement is released in this initial form, with all stakeholders invited to sign it as is – and to help improve it for final release by mid-2022.

SIGNED BY