Thursday, May 26, 2016

South Coast Community Receives Grant for First Underwater Maritime Welcome Center

South Coast Community Receives Grant for First Underwater Maritime Welcome Center

A South Coast Community is celebrating receipt of a government grant to proceed with plans to develop the first ever underwater maritime welcome center. The property chosen is widely known for providing equal access by land or by sea, including all areas of the building's first floor. This fine estate includes a deep water dock, featuring at least 2' of draft access at high tide, and a stunning view into the second story windows of the other property structures. The swift currents running past the property make it ideal for the sort of "tough love" Darwinian kayak and sailing program for area youth that the town wishes to develop. Potential mold and mildew problems inherent in such structures are no worry to a town that has been had its entire police force huddled in a refugee camp for years as a result of such issues.

When asked about the project, Town Administrator Dante Crustacean touted the initiative's foresight in offering the world's first unisex underwater bathrooms. "Sure, everyone is buzzing about unisex bathrooms, but no one else if looking toward the future and offering them under water." said Crustacean.

Some parents have expressed concern about the choice of a site so near to the main marine traffic channel, the bridge, and barnacle covered boulders, but project proponents were quick to point out that these risks were offset by the potential to offer indoor swimming lessons on the first floor. Upper levels will be used for administrative offices. According to Mr. Babbling Brook, a town official of some sort or other, " I can just see myself with my feet up on that railing, looking out over this unique facility." Public access will be offered by the world's first below to above sea surface elevator system, not yet developed, but certain to be available within the budget before project completion. Indeed, opposition to the project from neighbors, boaters, engineers, and others has been largely dismissed as coming from "NUMBY's", or those who do not want to see such a facility under their back yard.

And speaking of the budget, Mr. Crustacean pointed out that it would be foolish not to take advantage of this free money and spend it, apparently several times over. When challenged by a town father that grants were not "free" but tax based, Crustacean replied "Yes, but it's not our money until we spend it."  Indeed it is a magical grant in that it grew some 70% just in discussion, with several of the needed property improvements to be paid for with the same money. The true cost of the project remains somewhat murky, but then all of the best government works suffer from this challenge. One town member suggested that perhaps enough of the dirt excavated from the "big dig" could be acquired at discount to create some above water parking on the site.  Crustacean countered that since this was an underwater welcome center, car parking would be irrelevant. "Every summer we have countless guests visit our town underwater. They are underserved to the point we don't even know they are here. This will fix all of that."

As to the potential revenue generating use of the development, the town is currently reaching out to the Cousteau society and retired Navy SEAL organizations. They point out that this facility will offer a unique venue for meetings and fundraising events for such groups. It is presently under research as to whether the town can issue an underwater liquor license to make such use more attractive. A public safety officer for the town, Mr. Dorsal Gills suggested that such a license might be possible as soon as town officials were convinced that underwater imbibers were not going to be drinking like fish and getting tanked. "Swimming home through those bridge pilings is no mean feat sober," he said. "We can't have them doing so drunk." Additional revenue is anticipated from expanding the already thriving aquaculture project in the primary structure's crawl space.

The prescience of this project is inspiring. While the world bickers about climate change and rising seawater levels, here is a community ahead of itself in every way, particularly fiscally. The future is underwater, no matter what we do at this point, so why not begin developing municipal access accordingly? 

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