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Group Backs Inlet to Bolsa Chica Wetlands

Orange County Focus

December 30, 1992|BILL BILLITER

HUNTINGTON BEACH — The Amigos de Bolsa Chica, an environmental organization, has announced that it supports some sort of a new ocean inlet into the Bolsa Chica wetlands.

But Adrianne Morrison, executive director of Amigos, said the organization is flexible. She said the Amigos group is not tied to the ocean-inlet specifics in the Koll Co.'s development proposal.

The Koll proposal, which was part of a governmental coalition plan drafted three years ago, calls for a 250-foot-wide inlet to be carved into the extreme south end of Bolsa Chica State Beach.

The proposed inlet would allow ocean water to reach the wetlands in the Bolsa Chica Ecological Preserve.

The inlet proposal has recently become controversial. Surfers, including those belonging to the Surfrider Foundation, have charged that the inlet would ruin the beach and cause a loss of good surf.

Morrison said the environmental group has asked the Army Corps of Engineers to suggest other ways an ocean inlet might be built.

"We are saying that there is likely some other way to achieve the same thing," Morrison said. "We are asking for alternatives."

But Morrison stressed that the group strongly believes that an ocean inlet must be constructed, and probably at the south end of Bolsa Chica State Beach.

"The wetlands are going to be restored," she said. "The people have shown their enthusiasm for that, and the state has shown its support. And the restoration is going to require fresh ocean water." Morrison said an inlet of some sort is a necessity.

Last year, a new inlet was carved into Huntington State Beach to provide ocean flushing of the newly restored Huntington Wetlands.

There was no organized opposition to that inlet.

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