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Our Opinion: With New River, creativity helps

June 19, 2001

When it comes to cleaning the New River, it seems we can never do enough. Such is the case when you have a big, nasty problem.

It seems there are some efforts making a difference lately. They may not completely clean one of the dirtiest waterways in the continent, but if those efforts wipe out at least a small portion of the pollution that plagues the waterway, they will make a difference.

One of the most recent efforts is the development of an aeration device installed on the river by the Citizens Congressional Task Force. The device increases dissolved oxygen used by bacteria to break down organic matter. The dissolved oxygen will increase the amount of bugs and algae for fish to eat, which are good things. The device creates the appearance of white-water movement on the New River.

While one aeration device has been installed, if the effort proves successful more could follow. The idea is the aeration device could work hand-in-hand with another project — the New River wetlands project — which already is helping clean the river.

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Two wetlands have been built along the New River. They are natural areas that can trap organic materials as the river flows through the wetlands. The river water that leaves the wetlands is cleaner than the water that enters.

The New River has been a source of blight in the Imperial Valley for long enough, and it seems as if finally, real steps are being taken. It is no longer simply talk. Local people are making a difference and that will benefit us all.

Perhaps in the near future the Imperial Valley will no longer have to accept the bad repute of having such a dirty waterway. It now is possible to imagine a future where the New River is no longer an issue or even a subject of jokes.

We hope later generations will be able to look at the actions taken now and know the people made a difference.

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