Your Views: Use science over politics

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Your Views: Use science over politics
(Courtesy photo)
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To the editor:

As with Taylor Run, area residents oppose the City of Alexandria’s stream restoration plans for Strawberry Run using the natural channel design. The city already used this same methodology for the southern part of Strawberry Run in 2010 and it failed. So why does the city insist on doing it again?

City personnel gave their governing body, City Council, the matching grant application with a city manager memorandum attached, stating that the city had notified residents adjacent to Strawberry Run by letter and had also met with them in 2018 in support of the Natural Channel Design that uses the BANCS model to help design the plan.

Then the application was sent to the State of Virginia for the grant without the memo, and the city stated on the application that adjacent residents were notified, but none had responded. So, which was it? They can’t have it both ways. Actually, neither was correct.

The city has still refused to provide study assessments required by the Chesapeake Bay’s scientific experts panel if the BANCS model is used for the natural design methodology to see if it is appropriate for Strawberry Run. However, it obviously is not appropriate, since this methodology failed in 2010 and more sediment is now flowing into the Chesapeake Bay than before.

You can see huge boulders blown down stream today that were intended to stop banks from eroding and the tons of sediment put in the stream in 2010 using the BANCS model is mostly all washed away to further pollute the bay.

Additionally, we are opposed to this plan because it will destroy the tree canopy cover for natural wildlife, cause irreparable damage to ecology of the stream and will turn the forested area into a meadow of weeds.

Why is the city rushing to get approval for this project when the State of Virginia, which is co-funding the project, has given our city until mid-2022 to start the project? If the City of Alexandria government is truly “for the people, by the people,” then work with constituents to investigate why the failure happened in 2010, and then determine less destructive alternatives that will actually work.

Please, City of Alexandria, use science over politics.

-Lyn and George Allen, Alexandria

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