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Toxic Threat

October 11, 1994

The controversy over the flooding in the Ormond Beach estuary seems to be pointless at the moment since during the last storm the water in the estuary broke through the sand bar, which was acting as a dam. This is the normal cycle for this kind of estuary.

I think this was advantageous for the city of Port Hueneme, which at this time chose to initiate a change in the course of Bubbling Springs Creek. It appears that the normal discharge from the creek is being piped directly into the Pacific Ocean. So what does this mean? For one thing, the estuary will be deprived of its major, continuous, historical source of freshwater, leaving only the polluted urban, industrial and agricultural runoff.

There's a bright side to this for some individuals. The wetlands will shrink due to the average water level in the estuary being lowered and, because of this, the number and the type of plants, animals and insects will decline (some possibly being endangered species). This would make it easier to develop the surrounding areas because these individuals could say that the adverse impact is minimal.

The Ormond Beach wetlands is a unique and wondrous place, a stronghold for several threatened and endangered species. This area has been under assault for many decades by being used as a landfill by the city of Oxnard and currently as a dump for industrial waste.

This last change to the discharge of Bubbling Springs Creek may be one of the most devastating moves yet to an endangered habitat. Has anyone seen an Environmental Impact Report?

DALE LORENZANA

Port Hueneme

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