Initially being introduced to this project I took the side of the advocates in favor of opposing this project, and still do. After reading some of the information posed by both the organizations in favor of the project and those opposing it I think efforts and money could be put to better use in other areas. It's unfortunate that it really comes down to a financial issue. The city has x amount of time to complete a project that was mandated to help the Chesapeake Bay and if it's not completed on time money and other things will be lost. That's how I see it.
There are larger problems with this. For one, the location of this restoration seems to chosen for the sake of ease. The city owns the land that restoration will be done on. This expedites the approval process for land. In return, it shifts the focus of where the problem may lay. I agree with statements in the Reedy Creek Coalition article about the site being a high risk area. To me, it doesn't make sense to start a restoration 2/3 of the way down a waterway. On top of that it's directly below a concrete channel section of Reedy Creek that will eventually cause issues during the project. It's impossible to determine the weather and other environmental scenarios that could arise during this project, which could have detrimental effects to humans and wildlife.
I believe that almost all of the areas other than the proposed area would be more beneficial to focus on. This again goes back to the ease of the city to get the project done quickly and cheaply. Focusing on stormwater collection and dispersion seems to be talked about throughout all of the articles. In my opinion the concrete canal needs to be addressed to find a solution to slow down or minimize the water flow during storms. This would help reduce erosion of the creek that eventually flows into the Hill Park Lake that flows into the James and into the Chesapeake Bay. It's apparent the city doesn't want to intervene with the canal because they would have to get permission from land owners and it would take too long to draft a proposal and execute a plan. One idea brought up was the dredging of the Hill Park Lake. This lake seems to be a catchall for the sediment flowing down Reedy Creek. Cleaning the lake would lessen the sediment flowing into the river.
It seems like a large risk with little reward to me after viewing all the information. Clear cutting natural forest to make way for a flood plain and attempting to regenerate a more natural state on the banks by adding a wider plant species brings concern. As one article stated what's not to say a large storm could ruin all of the newly formed land and habitat. I'm all in favor of restoring things back to a more "natural" state. This just project just seems to be shoehorned into the requirements of the larger governments. If the overall purpose is the help clean the James River and Chesapeake Bay area of phosphorous and nitrogen run off then I think we need to focus on direct issues. Trying to restore a convenient section of a creek isn't the way to go about this problem.