|Santa Cruz Creeks and Wetlands Plan to go to Council in February
Six years ago, the California Coastal Commission directed the City
of Santa Cruz to develop a comprehensive plan for the network of creeks
and wetlands within city limits. Many have been heavily impacted-channelized,
filled, diverted, obstructed, placed in culverts-as the city has grown,
severely diminishing aquatic and wetland habitat and degrading the
quality of water flowing into the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary.
The Plan was released for public review in November and was on
the City Planning Commission agenda on December 1. It will return
for final Planning Commission action on December 15 before going
to the City Council in early February, 2006.
The draft Plan continues incentives for the restoration of Class
A watercourses, which the Sierra Club endorses, but we are concerned
that no such recommendations are presently put forward for Class
B and C watercourses. (Classification is based on quality, continuity,
and enhancement potential of the riparian habitat, with A being
the highest rating). Rather than accepting the degradations that
have been imposed on these important habitats in the city and consigning
them to these conditions evermore, we request that the City develop
a program of incentives and recommendations for restoration wherever
and whenever possible.
Copies of the plan are available for review at the Central Library
and on the City's website.
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