Letters + Opinion » Mailbox

On Grass



I live on the edge of the Manila dunes and have visited them daily for the last 35 years. I know them well. Fifteen years ago I worked for the Nature Conservancy as thefirst restorationist in the Manila dunes. Back then, dense beach grass smothered the foredunes as far as the eye could see. Starting with a 10'-by-10' plot, we began what would be a decades-long effort to uncover the native habitat trapped underneath. Over the years, thousands of students, volunteers and SWAP participants contributed their time and labor and slowly the incredibly beautiful and diverse society of natural dune-dwelling plants and animals began to emerge.

Today one can walk the trails in these dunes and witness the seasonal shift of exuberant colors and textures stitched together in a living quilt unique to this part of the west coast. It is a county treasure that should be preserved and protected.

For someone like Uri Driscoll ("Mailbox," Nov. 13) to assert that European beach grass is somehow beneficial to our dunes is absurd and botanically ignorant. His claims that restoration is somehow harming wetlands is equally misguided. I see him as a disgruntled horseback rider who didn't like being restricted to equestrian trails when Friends of the Dunes designed their trail system a few years back. For him to disguise his selfish retaliation as concern for the natural environment is transparent and harmful. I'm tired of hearing from him. Just think of how much better the world would be if people with his passion and determination were to turn their attention to the good.

Linda Lee, Manila

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