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Business Development Threatens Fish Habitat

September 08, 2003

Re "Native Trout to Get Fighting Chance in Southland Creek," Sept. 3: Having helped pull hundreds of bullheads and other nonnative fish out of the deep pools of upper San Mateo Creek, I can attest to the importance of the work that Trout Unlimited and others are doing to protect one of our region's last free-flowing coastal streams and its steelhead trout. Unfortunately, at the same time that private citizens are taking responsibility for restoring this creek, Orange County bureaucrats are moving forward to approve two massive construction projects that threaten the creek.

The proposed Foothill South toll road would actually run through San Onofre State Beach and San Mateo Creek. Damage to habitat for struggling wildlife and the dumping into the creek of oil, gasoline, antifreeze and other toxins from motor vehicles present a serious risk to the park, the creek and the steelhead trout. A proposal by the Rancho Mission Viejo Co. to build thousands of homes, a business park and new roads along streams that feed into San Mateo Creek is another serious threat to the health of the creek. To protect San Onofre State Beach, San Mateo Creek and the steelhead trout, Orange County should reject these harmful proposals.

Bill Corcoran

Regional Representative

Sierra Club, Los Angeles

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