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Reexamining the Little Shell Debate

August 06, 2000

* Huntington Beach Councilman Peter M. Green's July 30 letter is way off the mark. His argument that the Shipley Nature Center has been left out of the Little Shell debate is ludicrous.

He claims that Little Shell, a saltwater wetland, is a nonfunctioning site. He is wrong. Little Shell is a functioning wetland. The water from the larger wetland on the other side of Beach Boulevard flows through a pipe under the boulevard to replenish Little Shell with each high tide.

As a biology teacher he should know that you can't duplicate a saltwater wetland four miles away at the nature center or anywhere out of the coastal zone. Freshwater wetlands are not saltwater wetlands, as he should know.

The Robert Mayer Corp. project wants to fill in Little Shell wetland and build houses. It's against the Coastal Act. Green should know the Coastal Act. There are eight allowable reasons for filling in a wetland, and houses are not one of the eight.

The Coastal Commission staff recommended denial of this project and two coastal commissioners recommended to back the staff recommendation. The Coastal Commission majority voted to allow this project. There is a lawsuit pending.

This project is about building houses by filling in a wetland. It's not about how great the Shipley Nature Center is.

EILEEN MURPHY

Huntington Beach

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