Advertisement

Community Commentary: Columnists have mesa plans all wrong

February 16, 2011|By Joe Shaw and Connie Boardman

Earlier this year, when we saw the plans for the restoration of the lower bench of the Bolsa Chica Mesa, we were thrilled. After all that has been achieved at Bolsa Chica, "CPR (Community Promoted Restoration) for the Mesa" is the next step in continuing community leadership in its restoration.

"CPR for the Mesa" will create diverse, thriving native habitats, including native grasslands and a coastal sage scrub plant community. Working in harmony with nature, the plan creatively manages and overcomes the enormous challenges of this 118-acre restoration to return the mesa to a more natural state. The first phase of the plan will be funded through a Proposition 50 grant.

The Bolsa Chica Land Trust has a solid foundation for this project. For 14 years, the Bolsa Chica Stewards have partnered with the California Department of Fish and Game to restore native plants on the edge of the mesa. In that time, the Land Trust's volunteers have planted more than 22,000 native plants.

Advertisement

The project is designed by Guy Stivers. Stivers is a respected landscape architect at Shipley Nature Center. He also guided Los Angeles' recent transformation of a rundown block in Sun Valley into a model "green street," with drought-tolerant, native vegetation and water-saving features that capture enough water annually to supply the street's residents. The L.A. Times calls the project "the Rolls-Royce of L.A.'s Green Street initiative."

Inexplicably and sadly, this restoration plan was attacked in a Huntington Beach Independent column last week ("More like a 'heart attack for the mesa," Natural Perspectives, Feb. 10). The columnists have never been consistent in their criticism of projects at Bolsa Chica. We don't understand why they've attacked a restoration project while failing to criticize past development projects at Bolsa Chica.

Lets get the facts straight.

The columnists do not believe adequate biological assessment was done. Wrong. Department of Fish and Game biologists reviewed this plan as part of an eight-month project plan evaluation and gave it their support. It continues to be reviewed as part of a public environmental assessment process, and will be reviewed before the California Coastal Commission as well.

Huntington Beach Independent Articles Huntington Beach Independent Articles
|
|
|