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Restoration as the Solution to Disappearing Wetlands

Thanks for pointing out how to resolve wetlands controversies - the wetlands restoration in the Pacific Northwest.However, restorations, at best, are a mere token. How can "6,000 saplings" transplanted onto 42 acres of low ground in six months create wetlands that Mother Nature took eons to create? Or what percentage is 42 acres compared with the sum total acreage drained for farming? At least this project achieved more than costly and time-consuming lawsuits. To protect the remaining acres of wetlands, progress needs to be made on a tighter wetlands definition and on transportation of sediment. I question the author's statement that dumping sediment in the Pacific Ocean often produces harmful results. Of course, if the sediments are polluted, they are harmful to whatever ecological site they have been moved to. However, merely dumping sediment into the ocean should aid the function of the estuaries in furnishing beach nourishment, thus reducing beach erosion. Beach erosion is a major national coastal problem. We must have more catch basins upstream in the wetlands to trap sediments and then physically carry them to the ocean. Now that the author has "waded in," I'm sure he's found that the wetlands are just one indicator of the need for sounder environmental policy from our government. Robert H. Brewster, San Diego, Calif.

Letters are welcome. Only a selection can be published, subject to condensation, and none acknowledged. Please address them to "Readers Write," One Norway St., Boston, MA 02115.

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