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Wet and Dry Lands

Recent articles refer to the area along Pacific Coast Highway from the Santa Ana River to the Southern California Edison plant as a “marsh” to be “restored.” These articles are the result of, and will cause further, incorrect beliefs.

I recall that from 1947 to 1959, except for a few days after rains, the area was dry. Old-timers recall that the area was dry prior to 1947. About 1960, the berm along the Talbert drainage ditch to the north of said area was raised, blocking drainage, and the area was wet longer after rains.

As shown by the U.S. Geological Survey’s 1932 map of the Newport Beach quadrant, the area is above sea level and not a marsh. It shows a marsh at the foot of Newland and northwesterly therefrom, a small marsh north of the junction of the Talbert drainage ditch and the Santa Ana River and a marsh more than 500 feet east of the Santa Ana River.

Sadly, the truth is that, ignoring the land value, a few years ago for $100,000 and this year for $500,000 wetlands have been “created,” not restored. I hope that more than two least terns are attracted by the wetlands created this year. If not, perhaps a $2.5-million project will be developed on $75-million worth of land northwest of Brookhurst.

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ROY B. WOOLSEY

Newport Beach


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