Development of Shoreline Master Plan Essays
Students have just completed an integrated project in social studies, language arts and science. We’ve spent time exploring the Shoreline Master Plan issue in Tacoma. Currently, it’s up for vote in the Tacoma City Council whether a portion of the current shoreline should stay zoned S-7 – industrial, or changed to S-6- urban recreation. Of course there are many sides to this issue. Students have explored the issue from many angles; we learned about the history of the port and the waterfront, heard the viewpoints of several organizations including Citizens for a Healthy Bay and Walk the Waterfront, toured the port and a rehabilitated site, toured the waterfront itself, and researched articles and editorials. Using this information, students decided their opinions on the matter and wrote formal essays that were sent to City Council. We wrapped up the project by having a few student delegates meet with Mayor Strickland and hand deliver their essays. Mayor Strickland said she’d take them to the clerk and put them as public record. The City Council votes on this issue next week. Whichever way they vote, she reminded students that there is no right answer to this complex issue. We’ll eagerly await their decision and see how the future of the waterfront is planned.