A group calling itself Women Opposed to Wal-Mart (WOW) has sent a letter to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers regarding a proposed Wal-Mart supercenter in the community of Orange Beach, AL. The WOW collected more than 1,500 signatures on a petition to oppose building of a Wal-Mart in this small town. “Our objections to the Wal-Mart store are numerous,” the Women write. “First, the proposed site contains wetlands which were filled without a permit…Second, we feel that megastores are not in keeping with the image of our city, which is a resort and vacation spot for people from all over the world. Our citizens and visitors enjoy shopping in our quaint specialty stores, and if anyone wants to shop at a megastore, there are plenty in nearby Pensacola, FL and Foley, Alabama. There is a super Wal-Mart in Foley which is only a 15 minute drive from Orange Beach. In fact, there are 5 Wal-Marts, including 2 superstores, within 31 miles of our city.” The Women Opposed to Wal-Mart point out that Orange Beach has only 3,943 permanent residents. “Those of us who live in Orange Beach or own businesses here, do so because it is a beautiful, small town. If we wanted the conveniences of the big city, we would move there.” The group asks the US Army Corps of Engineers to hold a hearing about the “unauthorized destruction of the wetlands at the Wal-Mart site. The City Council of Orange Beach has implemented a 60 day moratorium on development, giving citizens an opportunity to restore home rule to the city, and give developers a clearer picture of what the future should look like in Orange Beach.
For further information about the Women Opposed to Wal-Mart, contact Eddie Sue Winter, Women Opposed to Wal-Mart, Box 2703, Gulf Shores, AL 36547.