Viewpoint - April 27, 2011

Letter: We can raise money to restore Baylands

Saltworks developers claim to be saviors of the Baylands: they will restore some of the salt ponds — if we let them pave over 70 percent first.

They argue that preservationists couldn't raise money to buy and restore Redwood City's Baylands. Yet many groups have saved land for future generations:

• After the proposal to develop Bair Island was defeated by voters, the Peninsula Open Space Trust bought the 1,623-acre site (twice the size of the salt ponds) for $15 million.

• Save the Redwoods League raised $7.5 million to buy 426 acres along the historic Skunk Train route, saving an old-growth forest from logging.

• Five Silicon Valley land trusts joined forces to preserve 80,000 acres of open space over the next 20 years. They've already raised $15 million.

Over the past 20 years, every private, restorable Bay shoreline parcel offered at fair market price has been acquired by land trusts for the benefit of residents and wildlife.

The Environmental Protection Agency has already reported that multiple parties are interested in purchasing and restoring Redwood City's Baylands.

All we need is for Cargill to be a willing seller and Redwood City's salt ponds can join this list.

Pat Marriott, Oakhurst Avenue, Los Altos


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