RIVER CLEANUP - Alternatives
by Bill Egerer, Midland Matters
Until the science studies are complete, our region should consider economic development approaches to solve this issue. Science is great, but money is the bigger magnet to bring people together. Two alternatives to dredging are proposed in a quest to solve the dioxin issue. As additional benefits, these plans bring the Tri-Cities together in economic development harmony and put our region on the world map in a positive light.
We need to get our heads out of the sand and think creatively to replace dredging with draining and flooding.
IDEA #1 - DRAIN THE WATERSHED
If the area's rivers were drained and left free of water, we could have shore to shore testing and dirt scooping going on for years and overcome any unemployment in the region. THEN, we encapsulate the entire dry bed areas; must be over 500 miles of winding troughs, channels and wide bank ditches. This guarantees the nasty dioxin molecules are sealed forever (or at least until concrete resealing job is needed). The exact volume of concrete required is unknown, but local excavation companies would smile.
THEN, and this is the real exciting part, the whole river system area becomes a world class Olympic training ground for luge and bobsledding sports in the winter. Consider the economic windfall for the region!! The straight away along the downtown Saginaw area would be a wild ride if we left the Genesee and other bridge supports in place.
A champion could run the luge from Midland Tridge (where entrances fees are collected of course) all the way to the Saginaw Bay and even across over into Thumb area via the ice.
During the summers, it would be converted to the world's largest skateboard park system and be an intra-city transportation system for bikers and roller blade babes.
Plenty of riverbank areas for event viewing. It would make the fantastic Bay City fireworks event look like a opening prayer compared to this Vatican Council of economic transformation. I think the Governor could campaign on this one.
IDEA #2 - FLOODING
The solution to pollution is dilution. We should buy land in the surrounding high elevation areas so we could cash in when we flood the Saginaw Valley area creating a sixth Great Lake. People love lakes and want to protect them. Everyone is chasing manufacturing and research; but few states can draw a foot from their other lakes to create a great lake like we can. Again, the Governor could wear her bikini and the Lt. Governor a Speedo as part of their "wet and wild" re-election tour. Four Winns and others water sports manufacturers could get behind this one.
BOTTOM LINE ........ the Environmentalists harping for dredging are operating in the stone age. Plans to DREDGE pale to DRAINING or FLOODING. The Green Party needs to get with the times and start turning environmental messes into REAL Greenbacks.