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Series a Wakeup Call to Salvage What's Left of County Wetlands

August 16, 1992

Your recent series ("The Wetlands: Orange County's Embattled Resource," Aug. 2 and 3) by Marla Cone on the endangered wetlands is an outstanding example of investigative journalism which serves the public interest.

The articles provided background information with descriptive illustrations in sufficient quality and quantity that a casual reader could understand the critical issue we face. The loss of more wetlands threatens the balance of the attributes of these natural resources with the growing population and limited water resources.

The question of property rights of citizens under the Fifth Amendment is clarified. And the role of the federal agencies charged with protecting the ecological system is presented. The rights of the average citizen whose health and welfare depend upon the continued existence of fish and birds, pure water supplies and natural flood control systems was not emphasized.

The Fifth Amendment protects the property rights of developers who purchased the wetlands with the intent to build homes on them. The fact that President Bush promised to prevent further depletion of wetlands in his 1988 campaign did not alarm the developers. Did they know something the rest of us didn't?

Who is protecting the rights of the millions of people who live in Orange County whose future health and welfare depend upon protection of these natural resources?

MARGARET J. CRAIG, Laguna Hills

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