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Name That Dune

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Editor:

I disagree with many of the claims made by critics of restoration practices on the beach and dunes ("Stake-Out," June 27). I would like, however, to address the comments that have been made regarding the threats restoration supposedly poses to infrastructure: homes, roads, power and water lines on the peninsula, especially in Manila, where these claims might have the most relevance.

Restoration does not occur near homes. Most homes in Manila have wetland or forest barriers between their homes and dunes and where this is not the case restoration is not done. Highway 255, as well as residential streets, are located to the east of these homes and thus even more protected. (The only road on which I have seen sand is on Navy Base Road west of Samoa. This sand comes from dunes that have not been restored and which are covered with beach grass.)

Regarding the power lines, PG&E engineers just recently conducted a study to determine whether they would withstand a powerful tsunami. Residents were assured that they would stand, that they are securely anchored in place. Regarding the two main water lines, which are located largely just behind the foredunes traversing from north to south, sand does pile up in some areas. In other areas, in the winter, rainwater inundates low sections and fast growing willows encroach on the water line "road" regularly. Indeed, the Humboldt Bay Municipal Water District regularly maintains this road to assure it's passable. This has been the case since the water lines were buried on this route.

To argue that one problem with the practice of restoration is a threat to infrastructure is, I strongly believe, simply disingenuous and false.

Nancy R. Ihara, Manila

Editor:

I wonder how many people out there are concerned about rising sea levels in the future and/or the probability of earthquakes and tsunamis affecting our coast at some time in the future. If you think those things are something we should prepare for, then let's talk about our dune stability. The foredunes protect our coastal wetlands, the dune forest and all the wildlife that depends on those areas to live. The back dunes protect the coastal residents and our homes.

It has now come to our attention that we have a possible solution to the dune erosion that has occurred in the recent years. The idea of placing wood slats on the eroding areas to collect sand that the wind blows in that direction is an inexpensive and negative environmental impact solution. Why would anyone be against the experiment? View the YouTube video "Coastal Restoration Using Biomimicry" to see the idea.

I hope that all the involved parties can come together to solve these problems instead of the refusal to face the issues. We are at a crossroad here. We need to admit that some current practices are not working and consider other avenues.

Laurie Ervin, Arcata

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