July 9, 2009 No B.S./Coalition Meeting
Wildcoast office, Imperial Beach
Attendees: Dan, Sara, Jay, Ben, Scott, Paloma, Johnny, Joseph, Danielle, Belinda, Clay, Dick, Ryan, Kyle, Scott, Gavin, Roger

June River Valley clean up – successes/ideas for next year and planning for the Fall Clean up:
Possibly get tools donated next year. Wheel barrows were difficult to push through sand – maybe use quads or three wheelers with a sled? Park Rangers may not approve but they have a gator that we could borrow. TRCC wants to register the Sherwood Forest area for Fall clean up. Volunteer efforts are not needed in all areas, the Estuary has contracted services that go in with trucks to clear certain spots. Need to do more to get local community (surfers!) to come out: contact press before hand, radio announcements (also in Spanish), Tommy Hough. Make an effort to get more school kids and younger people to attend (Montgomery Middle, Mar Vista), first through eighth grade is key. Take advantage of the county and Surfrider’s interactive watershed models for kids that explain runoff, storm drain, etc. And the Estuary has place based education where schools come to them. Get in touch with Boy/Girl Scouts, Junior Lifeguards (they earn patches the like the scouts do). Troubled youths, Camp Hope, people that need to do community service hours: contact Volunteer San Diego and tell them we need volunteers. Contact companies that encourage (and sometimes pay) their employees for volunteer work. Maybe contact church groups, Young Democrats. Southwestern College has environmental programs and a student group that might be interested. Get the birders comfortable so they can get behind the clean up, nesting season ends 9/15, need to coordinate w/ Danielle and Jim Peugh at Audubon Society. Other ways to encourage participation: offer giveaways, after party for volunteers. For Coastal Clean Up Day, I Love a Clean San Diego has inland sites, the Estuary is set up for Border Field and Sloughs, need to email the Recovery Team to see if there is any overlap.

USIBWC Citizens’ Forum: Thursday, July 16th 6:30-8:30pm at the Tijuana Estuary Meeting Room (310 Caspian Way, Imperial Beach, CA 91932) – Various Environmental Agencies speaking and public comment

US Open Sandcastle Competiton in IB – Saturday and Sunday, July 18th and 19th, 10am-5pm, Surfrider will have a booth set up and will need volunteers. Purpose is to raise awareness and education of border sewage and pollution and to recruit more volunteers and potential coalition members. Need to coordinate with Ben and Jay about getting large pictures of trash/pollution to display.

Paddle for Clean Water – Surfrider Education and Awareness Event – Sunday, September 13th 9am-5pm, No B.S. and Know Your H2O will be the featured campaigns at the event in Ocean Beach. Need to create posters and brainstorm other ideas for awareness, speakers, etc.

Green Borders Initiative – Meeting on June 29th at USD to discuss a binational vision for the Tijuana River Watershed. Key members of the coalition were in attendance to discuss issues and goals for a solution. There will be future meetings to plan for the Conference which will be held on November 18-20.

Tijuana River Valley Recovery Team Workshop – Next meeting open to public, Friday, July 31, 2009, Policy Committee Meeting, 10am-noon, SDRWQCB 9174 Sky Park Ct #100, San Diego, CA 92123 858 467 2952, info@TJRiverTeam.org

Clay Clifton: Ocean water program coordinator for city health department, notifies of contamination events, spills, runoffs etc.

The plume doesn’t cause much of the readings and smelly events since it’s three miles off shore and coming from 90 feet of water. It’s the river that’s the problem and has the worst measurements with regard to health risks and it’s only in the summer that it’s not an issue. In the winter the IBWC outfall is not considered because of the impact of the Tijuana River.

Sewage in Mexico has more surfactants (soaps, detergents) and these can’t be treated out, surfactants deplete oxygen so there are limits in US but these phosphates are still used in Mexico.

In the summer of 1998, when river flows exceeded the capacity of the river diversion, the Imperial Beach shoreline was closed to water contact for 52 days between July 1 and September 30.

3 major tasks to be done, 5-10 years with reasonable budget, state funding, raising money, what are the attainable goals?
-keep on agencies and programs, EPA 2012 program, potable water for TJ
-upgrade wastewater infrastructure in TJ
-how to facilitate what’s next on the list, watch dog capability of NGOs
-Ask what the status is of 2012 programs.
-County and city of SD – $ for routine trash and sediment removal

Suggestions for what an advocacy group can do: we can talk directly to elected officials, be aware and keep making it a priority, hold politicians accountable, bringing it out in the open. create awareness, measure problem, gear towards solution. Our groups can be the advocate, testing shows involvement and dedication, invite elected officials to go out with BWTF, show next generation and how their health and environment are connected. Focus: how to collect data and bring to elected officials and media. Links to different studies, data reports and fact sheets

3 samples are collected by the US in Mexico (northern baja) for IBWC, results sent to DEH, no public view of the samples coming from northern baja, put river data on Scripps website during wet season??

BWTF – do a testing at Dairy Mart Bridge and Hollister, follow county protocols, between December and January and give the data to the Union-Tribune, only have to test for bacteria, don’t have to have cutting edge stuff, important to get community out there and making issue more visible and make sure it stays there, keeping it going thru the winter.

Notes from meeting with Clay

-In the Summer, 96 locations of testing, 55 samples collected by DEA.

-Lots of County Politics

-No Flooding during Dry season

-EPA -> Border 2012 – Potable Water

-Wastewater Treatment Plant -> facilitate improvement of wastewater treatment.

-Need to enact watchdog efforts to keep the local politicians in check

-County, City of San Diego are stakeholders

– Montior the bacteria levels in the TJ River (Hollister Street and End of Saturn)

-Data Collectors -> John Van Ryan/ Sheri ??? – Stormwater collectors

-Need to use the spreadsheets with data that comes out of the testing – Use the test results to write letters, make videos showing the efforts we are taking to test and get people involved down there

-Elected officials do the testing with the BWTF

-Historical Data -> 1 or 2 people who can request data (Form letter and phone calls)