Even though the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency granted the Cafaro Enterprise Park site a Water Quality Certification in July, a local coalition of concerned citizens still has some big concerns about the project impacting the wetlands.

Progress continues to move forward on the proposed development north of the Eastwood Mall.

The Army Corps of Engineers is expected to approve the project soon.

But the development disturbing the wetlands in that area is what prompted a public forum Thursday evening at the YWCA on Park Avenue in Warren.

Patricia Dunbar, President of Friends of the Mahoning River, said they are trying to warn the Army Corps of Engineers about the issues they feel are vitally important.

"The ecosystem, the birds, because once that is destroyed they won't have their corridor to fly through to reproduce," said Dunbar. "The animals that fly through there, the salamanders, that will all be destroyed. It will be fragmented because they want to bring roads in from the north, the south, the east, the west, and that nice corridor will just be gone."

She said with vacant buildings in other areas; there are plenty of options for the project.

"Lets put it somewhere in an abandoned site where we would be fixing up something that was abandoned," said Dunbar. "And let's leave those beautiful wetlands preserved for nature."

Joe Bell, a spokesperson for the Cafaro Company, which owns the Eastwood Mall, said they have considered the environment through this process.

"We have a plan in place where we purchase credits to create wetlands elsewhere in the Mahoning River Watershed," said Bell. "We will do probably double the amount. In other words, for every acre we disturb, we create two acres. We are actually increasing the water quality through this particular process."

The development will take up about 16 acres of wetland and a small portion of Mosquito Creek.

"To keep a continuous corridor with the wetlands and Mosquito Creek all intact, is a far greater value than if it's interrupted in stages by this kind of development," said Ray Steward of the Ohio Wetlands Association.

The concerned group also mentioned flooding could be a potential problem in the area.