Viewpoint - July 27, 2011

Letter: Conservancy finds support for restoring the Bay

Cargill and DMB developers charge that we the people cannot afford to restore the salt ponds site in Redwood City.

I say that we cannot afford not to.

I am not surprised that a Coastal Conservancy survey found that a majority of Bay Area voters would support a parcel tax if earmarked specifically for Bay restoration. San Francisco Bay amazingly drains two-thirds of California. The Bay used to be 100 percent larger with healthy wetlands along the shores.

That was before all the filling and dumping for over a hundred years. We lost most of our oysters, otters, sea lions, pelicans, marsh birds and 90 percent of the wetlands with natural fish hatcheries and marsh habitat in those years.

Since the 1960s, we have reversed course. Some species are returning slowly. Much more is needed. While we cannot do anything about existing towns built in the Bay, we can restore salt ponds to the healthy wetlands they once were.

In the Florida Everglades, the people awoke to the fact that their lives depend on a healthy Everglades and sweeping restoration is now urgently under way.

California depends on a healthy Bay with deep, vibrant wetlands — not saltwater drainage between tall levees.

Gita Dev, Woodside


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