If it were not for the fact that I have never used drugs I would think that I am having hallucinations from a bad LSD trip. Beam me up Scotty.

Beetles Vs. Home Liveshots

Beetles Vs. Home
February 4, 2010 - 12:24 PM | by: Shannon Bream

More than 90 Maryland homeowners with beautiful views of the Chesapeake Bay say they’re now staring at an ugly reality. The structures are perched on an eroding cliff, but the property owners can’t do anything to stop the soil from wearing away because of a rare insect.

The Puritan tiger beetle is an Endangered Species, and the majority of the known beetles live in the cliffside underneath Chesapeake Ranch Estates. Residents say it’s not just a matter of losing their homes, it’s literally a life and death situation.

In 1996, a landslide killed a 12 year old girl. Since then, some residents have awoken to find large sections of their property have literally vanished into the Bay.

Residents have been fighting for years for the right to put in reinforcing stones or other structures, but have been denied at every turn because of the beetles. Glenn Therres, a biologist with the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (MDNR), says the agency will try to help homeowners – but not at the cost of the beetles.

In an October 5, 2009, memo from the MDNR, homeowners asking for permission to reinforce the cliff area were told, “"The proposed project would clearly destroy larval habitat, and is therefore prohibited.” Homeowner John Eney says, “They show absolutely no concern for human life or private property.”

Maryland Delegate Anthony J. O’Donnell (R) has introduced legislation designed to give property owners the right to take steps in order to save their homes, but it has been unsuccessful in solving the dispute so far. Residents say they are gearing up to sue the federal government if necessary.

In the meantime, at least one road within the subdivision is no longer open. Erosion has worn away the land abutting the road to the point that residents believe they are no longer safe to drive there. A community meeting to discuss the next step is scheduled for February 20, 2010.