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A River Runs Through It
Dawn S. Rawls | Klish Way

But, nonetheless, the Fairgrounds wants to build a fortress there…

The photos and photo simulations below may be seen on the Fairgrounds website:
www.sdfair.com/pdf/09MPEIR_045.pdf

 

BEFORE Fig 4.5.2 22nd DAA DEIR of Oct, 2009 Present-day view looking East from Camino Del Mar Bridge. View 1 page 7.

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Photo Simulations. Photographic images and simulations are a valuable tool for understanding and disclosing the estimated visual effect of the proposed project. It is important to note, however, that photographs do not represent the same level of visual acuity and sensitivity to detail as the human eye. As a result, photo simulations tend to understate the anticipated perception of impacts. emphasis added

The photo simulations from the Master Plan Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR) released October, 2009 shows how proposed development would turn the Fairgrounds into an enclosed enclave resembling a medieval fortress of looming stucco fortifications. Will the Fairgrounds staff and Board of Directors let these massive exhibit halls and lavish hotel accommodations languish in a state of emptiness? Not likely! Coastal communities and the Lagoon’s birds, insects, and fish will be forced to exist in an environment with ever more traffic, air pollution, noise and bright lights weekday and weekend. Does this development belong in our Lagoon?

AFTER Fig 4.5.6 22nd DAA DEIR of Oct, 2009 Future view looking East from Camino Del Mar Bridge. View 1 page 31.

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The Del Mar Fairgrounds actually floats on top of the San Dieguito Lagoon; the river delta that would have spread out its arms to embrace the ocean has been filled by construction of the Fairgrounds and clogged by Camino Del Mar and the railroad bridge and tracks. But the River and Lagoon persist; the water table lies just 5-10 feet beneath the current asphalt of the Fairgrounds. Wherever water can work her will, she rises to the surface, bringing latent salt marsh plants into being, making a home for the vibrant life of wetlands.

BEFORE Fig 4.5.2 22nd DAA DEIR of Oct, 2009 Present-day view from North (Dog) Beach Bluffs. View 2 page 7.

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Saltwater meets sweet water in our San Dieguito Lagoon and forms a very rich brew for all kinds of plant and animal life. Fresh water flowing down the San Dieguito River watershed mixes with tidal flows from the ocean to form a salt marsh in the Lagoon. Those wetland grasses and salt-loving plants may not look much like “waving fields of grain,” but scientists estimate that a healthy salt marsh produces five to ten times as much oxygen and plant material per acre as does that wheat field!
Today our restored San Dieguito Lagoon is a fish nursery bursting with an abundance of life busy rebuilding a complex food web in the river valley. The restoration of the Lagoon was undertaken by Southern California Edison and SDG&E as mitigation for the destruction of larval and juvenile fish in the cooling water intake of the power plant at San Onofre. The California Coastal Commission has required that part of this mitigation be several decades of monitoring and testing of the Lagoon’s complex food web to insure long-term success and provide scientists and marine estuary planners with valuable knowledge for later restoration projects.

AFTER Fig 4.5.6 22nd DAA DEIR of Oct, 2009 Future view from North (Dog) Beach Bluffs. View2 page 31.

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Amidst all this expense (upwards of $100 million to restore the Lagoon), successful restoration of a valuable environmental resource and productive scientific research, what does the 22nd District Agricultural Association (DAA) Fairgrounds Board of Directors propose? Paved parking lots along the Coast-to-Crest trail and a massive one-quarter-mile-long wall of stucco and tile adjacent to the River directly across from Riverpath. How tall is the wall? From a low point of 50 feet the wall reaches to heights of 65 feet with towers soaring to 85 ft. How broad is this wall of exhibit halls and hotel designed for the conference trade? More than 200 feet! Mighty walls indeed for their modern fortress.

And do we really want the increased traffic, air pollution, noise and bright lights weekday and weekend for ourselves, our communities and our Lagoon? Let the DAA know your opinion.

 

Photos and simulations may be found here, www.sdfair.com/pdf/09MPEIR_045.pdf

 

 
 

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