So, according to Mr. Brundage, the dam was rebuilt in 1950 to increase the mosquito population and kill off a dozen fish species: Curious.

I fear Mr. Brundage, that in your eagerness to return the river to some perceived idyllic state, you ignore what people actually lived through 60 years ago. Again, the problem was repeated flooding and draining of the area immediately above the worn down dam.

Each cycle resulted in stagnant pools of foul smelling water, perfect for breeding mosquitoes. Why, with your version of Eden so close at hand, would it not have occurred to people back then to simply knock down what was left of the dilapidated wooden dam?

The EPA wasn’t standing in the way; the cost would have been negligible. Clearly, eliminating the dam would only have made matters worse. The solution was to rebuild it at a height which would mitigate these problems. We’ve enjoyed the fruits of that effort over the last 60 years

I admire your erudite description of the ecosystem above the dam. However, its pessimistic conclusions are not borne out in nature. Heron, fox and beaver populations have exploded up and down the river.

You claim the river won’t dry up; OK, let’s see some overhead schematics showing the river banks at low water. By the way, what does a million gallons of treated waste water look like over 100 miles of river? I’m guessing not much.

Also, how many fish species would there be if the IDNR wasn’t stocking the river downstream and the dam wasn’t there to oxygenate the water?

Finally, I’d be careful in accepting unequivocally data generated by government agencies. The IDNR, for instance, in their flood study of a year ago failed to recognize that the Forest Avenue Bridge obstructs the river’s flow at high water. Yet it most certainly does.

The funding of this project against the current economic chaos must appear as a mandate from heaven for proponents. For skeptics ( aside from scratching our heads over how debt riddled state and federal governments came up with $8 million to make life easier for fish), it’s a wakeup call; a last chance to alert people to the potential negative consequences this project may have on our quality of life. Let’s take one more hard look before we hop on our backhoes.

• William H. Anderson Jr. is a Riverside resident.