Tuesday, May 13, 2008
EYES WIDE SHUT
On a trip with the California Wetlands Recovery Project 2008 Symposium, I chose the to go to the Tijuana River National Estuarine Research Reserve. This area had been a National Park and Preserve set aside, studied extensively because, for all the insults by people to the land, rivers, watersheds, ocean and ecology, the Tijuana Estuary was still a vital functioning system teeming with life not seen elsewhere in California or the Nation.
Now, Homeland Security has seized the land and is building the Boarder Fence. Homeland Security does not have to follow the law of the land... it has been given by Congress a privileged position, which allowed it the suspension of more than 30 laws that you, I and all other entities must follow to protect land, property and life, to build a structure to keep Mexicans from coming across the boarder. This 'fence' which is already starting to crumble from poor workmanship, will span from California in the Pacific Ocean to Texas, through the Gulf of Mexico, cutting sensitive ecosystems and communities... without vision or craft. Already, the 100 foot mounds of dirt are eroding, with boulders tumbling and soil swiftly washing down streams... Now, they are thinking of filling in a very large ravine that runs next to a city near the boarder. Filling the valley, using the same craftsmanship of the other developments and cement work, could mean disaster.
Underneath are a number of water pipes (there are people who LIVE in them) that are already below grade and the highway, and there is a stream that runs along the hillside over the filled ravine.... In a very rainy year, the hillsides could collapse causing an international incident killing many many people.
The largest number of people live just above the highway but their houses are constructed of this and that and sit upon layers of tires.
There seemed that day, to be a large fire near by.
Many homes are built with scraps of wood.
The political postures of building a fence to keep out 'the illeagals' only serves those people in power. Their shoddy ideas cause more environmental disasters and human tragedy then nature.
This estuary has millions of dollars invested in it to serve two countries' needs of fresh water and healthy near shore fisheries. But, because of this insane policy to demonstrate some sort of political will, these actions will not only destroy this wetland but the poorest of the poor.