KITTERY (AP) – Supporters of the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard are urging Seacoast area residents to stick up for the yard, and the area’s economy, by putting stickers on their cars, and their money.

The Seacoast Shipyard Association, with the help of local newspapers, distributed thousands of Save Our Shipyard bumper stickers to residents across the Seacoast on Sunday to raise awareness about the 2005 Base Realignment and Closure process threatening the yard, its nearly 4,600 employees and the Seacoast region.

The group also distributed “shipyard dollar” stickers to all employees, asking them to attach the bright yellow decals to cash, personal checks and credit-card vendor copies spent locally.

“Our goal is to flood the Seacoast area with these shipyard dollars, thereby raising community and business awareness of just what the loss of actual shipyard dollars would mean to them,” said group spokesman William McDonough said.

The group used bumper stickers and dollar decals in the past when Congress considered base closings.

“It’s just a great lobbying effort,” said Portsmouth Rep. Jim Splaine, who was chairman of the group during one of the past threats.

Russ Van Billiard, a SSA member and former shipyard employee, said the decals and stickers were the most effective way to make people aware of the yard’s impact.

“The dollar stickers surprised a lot of people. They showed up all over creation,” Van Billiard said. “I don’t think anyone can accurately see what the impact would be if we lost the shipyard payroll and how the other business would be affected. … But these dollars give people an idea.”


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