Yorktown’s town board is literally allowing large portions of Yorktown’s wetlands to be drained in favor of land development. Have town board members placed their own shortsighted political ambitions and future profits of land developers above the long-term wellbeing of Yorktown’s own citizens?

The town board has even eliminated the need to apply for a special permit to build in wetlands, ironically while the official Yorktown website still emphasizes the importance of maintaining and reclaiming wetlands. Majority council members use terms like “pockets of water,” “little puddles,” and “just rain runoff” to diminish wetland’s importance. The town board has even skillfully redefined what’s a wetland to seemingly limit their protection and in doing so limited the protections that wetlands afford us as well.

Yorktown is a watershed with reservoirs but now appears isn’t as wet as we once thought. Through political sleight of hand and legal wrangling, Yorktown’s town board has maneuvered itself into a position to dry up as much of Yorktown’s wetlands as they want, but to what end? Conservationists and voters need to monitor how much of Yorktown’s wetlands are being permanently destroyed in the name of “progress.”

Wetlands have suddenly become a shrewd investment. Who will really benefit the most from newly proposed changes to Yorktown’s wetland regulations; taxpayers, land developers or “Swampublicans¨? Maybe Yorktown needs to “drain the swamp” after all.