A River Runs Beneath It

Santa Ana River toll road elevates eco-fears

"I was just talking with some marine biologists, and the thing that concerns us is when you look at an elevated freeway or Crystal Cove or Treasure Island or the Headlands in Dana Point, no one's looking at the cumulative effect of all of it, of how collectively they will degrade the marine environment," said Brown, in whose Newport Beach office hangs an aerial photograph showing a pollution plume that starts at the Santa Ana River mouth and extends eight miles out to sea.

"We can show all kinds of things about Crystal Cove. But what are the effects of 865 homes at Crystal Cove combined with what's going on a few miles down the road at Treasure Island, then a few miles down from that at the Headlands? The elevated toll road is the same thing. They can hire consultants to say whatever they want—for example, that they will have no effect. Obviously they will have an effect. And coupled with everything else, that could be a devastating effect."

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