Clearing the Santa Ana River Will Protect the Environment

Re "Let River Flow, or Let It Grow?" Nov. 3:

This article points out how easy it will be for Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to balance the budget. According to the Army Corps of Engineers, if the Santa Ana River floods, the economic losses would exceed $30 billion. This is why we, the taxpayers, spent more than $1 billion fixing it. Now we have a bird vacationing in Mexico, which may or may not return to a tree that is plugging up the mouth of the river, endangering half of Orange County. What lessons are we not learning?

The birds are around because we have more than 1,000 acres of protected lands to offset the losses of the Santa Ana River. This includes Fairview Park, Talbert Nature Preserve, the conversion of parts of the oil fields to wetlands, the creation of the Talbert Marsh Ecological Preserve and the Bolsa Chica wetlands.

The water in the Santa Ana River is urban runoff, not a good place for a bird to raise its family.

The best way to protect our environment is to get out the chain saws, dredge and clear the river. All Californians know that after the fires come the floods.

James Jones

Costa Mesa

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