Many counties in the greater Seattle area have already banned or severely restricted the use of personal fireworks. Because Island County has no such ban, people come here to "celebrate" Independence Day, leaving behind tons of toxic garbage on the beaches and in our forests that locals end up cleaning-up the next day. With only a volunteer fire department, fire is a very real and ever-present danger. In addition, loud explosions are extremely disturbing to many people, including Veterans with PTSD, as well being very traumatic to house pets and wildlife, including deer and fawns, eagles and eaglets, and other birds and wildlife, with very real damage also done to our waters, air and earth. There are numerous well-documented articles on the internet highlighting the validity of these concerns (search on "fireworks dangers"). On Whidbey Island, Independence Day is celebrated on both July 3rd and July 4th, and both these nights (and sometimes additional nights) are rife with fireworks obtained from local reservations that are illegal to use anyplace but the reservations. The noise from this blasting is akin to living in a war-zone, and many of us have absolutely had enough! We think there are many community-friendly ways to celebrate Indepence Day and New Year's that do not have to include toxic, dangerous and explosive fireworks.
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