Urges county to seek ecological fix for Oxford Basin’s stagnant waters

To the Editor:

Regarding the Argonaut story of April 16th, “Small Craft Harbor Commission meeting addresses boat slip price/size study and Oxford basin project:”

There is a misperception about Oxford Basin as it is on the footprint of an ancient lagoon-like wetland remnant, now somewhat altered, but with enough biological diversity that it qualifies as natural. Some of the life found there includes three species of fish, abundant plankton including drifting jellyfish, salt marsh vegetation, and abundant birds including herons, kingfishers, egrets and 12 types of waterfowl. We refer to it as Oxford Lagoon, and the county rightfully designated it as a Bird Conservation Area.

The water is not “stagnant oxygen-deprived water” when the tide gate is kept open. When “unlocked,” the twice daily tides provide the flushing, which can simply be referred to as “breathing” the lagoon. If the tide gates remain open most of the year, except during the approximately 20 days per year of heavy winter rains, there would not be a need for a proposed $5 million “basin excavation” and an incredible $4.1 million in “multiuse landscape and recreation enhancement.” The county’s proposal will not work, resulting in even more money for an engineering-fix rather than starting with a less-costly environmental biological-fix.

If the county sought local ecological expertise to solve the smell issue, much money would be saved, while genuine natural ecology and marine life would be restored. A budget that may be needed for inevitable struggles with environmental groups would also be saved.

The City of Los Angeles learned this lesson on a previous “enhancement” project at Grand Canal Lagoon, and finally, after losing a coastal lawsuit to environmental groups, the city is embarking on an environmentally superior and less costly solution — in harmony with Mother Nature.

Robert Roy van de Hoek and Marcia Hanscom, Co-Directors of the Ballona Institute, Playa del Rey

Wants Sheriff’s Department to do something about RV parking

To the Editor:

Parking Lot #5 in Marina del Rey has turned into an RV camping site. Day after day you will see RVs parked there, some for weeks on end. Some have their personal cars, some have bicycles and most have dish antennas on their roofs.

One can only assume, and hope, that they are using the nearby public library restrooms when needed.

Also the parking lot across from the library has turned into a storage yard for unused TV broadcast trucks. How can the Sheriff’s Department allow this to continue?

Venice is having major issues with RVs and campers parked continuously on their streets and people living in them. Is the Marina having the same problem now? Would someone from the Sheriff’s Department please explain why this is being allowed to happen?

Al Hains, Marina del Rey

Wants progress report on Titmouse Park

To the Editor:

I just came across an issue of The Argonaut from April of 2008 in which there is much discussion of Titmouse Park in Playa del Rey. Considerable outrage was expressed over the name, with accusations of sexism. And a new group was formed to take over the park and keep it in good condition — although, in my opinion, the City Recreation and Parks Department was already doing a good job there. It’s been a year and I’ve heard nothing more.

The park hasn’t changed. It still looks the same. The same “Titmouse Park” sign is in front. I’m wondering what’s happening. The only activity I’ve seen is on the Web site of an organization called “Make the Difference Network” where the Ballona Institute makes a plea for $14,000 to improve the park. That seems a little steep to me, considering that the park was created by the community and the Junior Women’s Club using only donations of plants, labor and equipment from local businesses and individuals.

What’s going on here?

Ruth Lansford, Playa del Rey