Our Laguna:

Bates updates canyon conservancy

May 14, 2010|By Barbara Diamond

Fifth District Supervisor Pat Bates Pat Bates was preaching to the choir when she updated the Laguna Canyon Conservancy on county environmental projects and programs.

Bates, who is running unopposed for reelection for the first time in her 25-year political career, was the guest speaker at the final meeting of the conservancy before the Festival Season hiatus. She spoke on issues that are of major concern in Laguna.

“I have a number of environmental projects and programs that I’m excited to be able to share with you this evening, projects that you have been following for a number of years,” Bates said.


Bates touched on water quality, habitat improvement and environmental concerns. She opened with a report on the Aliso Creek restoration — a hotly debated topic in Laguna.

“I know a number of you have attended workshops and meetings and have provided valuable input so far,” Bates said. “An extensive report on the baseline conditions of the creek and its habitat is nearing completion by the Corps of Engineers.

“In addition to describing the current conditions of the creek and its habitat, this report also forecasts conditions over the next 50 years if no restoration is ever implemented.”

The draft of the report will be released this summer after completion of an internal review. Public meetings will be held and input sought.

“I also will continue to seek assistance from our Washington delegation for federal funding to restore this important South County resource,” Bates said.


Ocean water quality is threatened by the pollution that flows out of public storm drains and flood control channels. Bates said the county has implemented a program that places strict requirements on new development, and mandates public education, as well as monitoring water quality in storm drains, creeks and beaches and staffing a 24-hour hotline.

“It’s important to keep in mind that nearly all the pollution that travels through public-owned storm drains is not caused by cities, but rather by people living and working in our communities — all of us,” Bates said.

“We can only have clean water and a healthy environment by each of us ensuring our daily activities do not cause pollution.”

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