Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Why Is There No Vision To Clean Up The Polluted Trinity River?

Yesterday, or the day before, I blogged about cities in America and the world, other than Fort Worth, which were having success with cleaning up their blighted rivers.

On a related subject I also blogged about Fort Worth's Trinity River's E. Coli and dead bodies pollution problem.

In a conversation with a Wichita Faller I recently found myself discussing how backwards Fort Worth was compared to Wichita Falls, and other modern American cities, in so many ways.

Such as, why, in Fort Worth, is there no effort to clean up the various polluted waterways? The main one being the Trinity River, along with waterways like Fosdick Lake in Oakland Lake Park. It's not as if no other towns have cleaned up their waterways, hence Fort Worth having no examples of doing the same such thing.

New York City, for example.

The NYC blurb in the wired.com article about seven cities which turned their rivers from blight to beauty....

New York’s once ridiculously-polluted East River and Hudson waterfronts were long considered great places… to dump bodies. After transforming the banks on all sides over the last two decades with riverfront parks and paths, the city is further reimagining them through several new initiatives, including BIG’s Big U, a 10-mile-long protective system of landscaping and barriers around Manhattan that double as public space. But the most ambitious foray into the water itself is Family’s Plus Pool, a plus-shaped structure floating in the East River, filtering river water for swimming through a three-level purifying system. Final site selection is set to be announced later this year, and completion is set for 2019. Cities around the world are now shouting for similar facilities.

Fort Worth has been shuffling along for about the same amount of time it took New York City to transform the Hudson and East Rivers, with Fort Worth's embarrassing badly managed Trinity River Central City Uptown Panther Island District Vision having little to show for the multi-year effort.

Instead of a warped vision encouraging people to get wet in the E. coli alligator infested Trinity River why not focus instead on cleaning up that pitiful river?

Look what New York City is doing, installing a floating swimming pool type structure on the East River, filtering the water to make it totally safe to swim in.

One of America's Biggest Boondoggle's, early on, obvious to fail absurdities, was Cowtown Wakepark. Described by Fort Worth's favorite son, J.D. Granger, as being a world class state of the art facility which would bring the coveted sport of wakeboarding to the people of Fort Worth, who, apparently, in J.D.'s frat boy arrested development mind, longed for such.

Cowtown Wakepark is now a ghost town, worse than the stalled ghost town where once The Boondoggle celebrated the start of bridge construction with a TNT explosion and a lot of hot propaganda air.

Now, the pond The Boondoggle built for Cowtown Wakepark had an obvious flaw, in that it was so close to the Trinity River that the pond and that which surrounded the pond got flooded whenever the Trinity River ran extra water. Why did none of the useless idiots in charge of America's Biggest Boondoggle not realize this would be a problem?

Might there be a way to turn the Cowtown Wakepark pond into safe clean water, using some version of that system NYC is using to make a floating swimming pool in the East River? And somehow make this impervious to floods? And a safe place to be Rockin' the River whilst floating on inner tubes drinking beer?

Fort Worth, and Texans in general, seem way too comfortable with polluting their waterways.

Irresponsible fracking comes to mind.

In my old home state, decades ago, various waterways had become terribly polluted. Salmon no longer returned to Lake Washington. Various lakes were no longer safe to swim in. The pollution levels in the various rivers which drained into Puget Sound were polluting Puget Sound, having dire effects on the health of the Sound and its sea life.

So, what did the people of well educated, progressive Western Washington do? The various counties passed bond issues that brought about new water treatment plants, raising the treatment level to what is known as tertiary treatment. King, Pierce and Snohomish County passed what was called Forward Thrust, with the people voting to spend a lot of money on various projects that would clean up the water, and do things like upgrade Pike Place, the Woodland Park Zoo. Oh, and build the Kingdome. Among other items.

The result.

Salmon long ago returned to Lake Washington which has been safe to swim in for decades now, along with the other Western Washington lakes. Puget Sound is healthy. A crystal clear level of clean water. I remember in late July of 2008, walking along the beach at Point Defiance in Tacoma, astonished at how clear the water was. I remember thinking what a contrast with what I see in the area of Texas I live in.

I make that "area of Texas I live in" caveat because some of the clearest water I have ever seen has been in Texas. Aquarena Springs in San Marcos comes to mind.

If Western Washington could clean up its rivers and lakes, why can't North Texas? I do not get how people can tolerate their town having a river run through it which regularly hosts too much E. coli, while an idiotic pseudo public works project encourages people to get in that polluted water under the pretense they are participating in really special floating music events at a unique special music venue, which is actually quite mundane and the fact of the matter is there are few towns in the world, so backwards, that the town's officials would promote such unhealthy behavior in such an unseemly location.

I guess Fort Worth can take some solace in the fact that the town has something in common with Rio de Janerio. As in, water one is advised not to touch. However, there is a snowballs chance in hell that Fort Worth could ever be picked to host an Olympics.

Hosting America's Biggest Boondoggle will likely continue to be Fort Worth's claim to fame for the near future...

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