This weekend will kick off the 3rd Annual Tijuana River Action Month (TRAM), a bi-national inclusive month-long series of events aimed at:

  • Raising awareness about the need to protect and restore the Tijuana River Watershed.
  • Mobilizing a record number of volunteers in cleanup, restoration, and educational events (for building stewardship for the Tijuana River Valley, Estuary, and newly implemented Tijuana River Mouth Marine Protected Area); and 
  • Recognizing key efforts made on behalf of corporations and agencies to address pollution impacts.

Cleanups throughout the Tijuana Watershed in both Mexico and the US will begin Sept. 15 with California Coastal Cleanup Day, which will involve thousands of volunteers. California Coastal Cleanup Day is part of International Coastal Cleanup, with events planned in more than 150 countries worldwide involving thousands of volunteers internationally.

TRAM was convened for the first time in 2010 by the Tijuana River Action Network, a cross-border collaborative of U.S. and Mexico grassroots-community groups and non-profits committed to cross-border collaboration.  Together, we will address the conservation and restoration of the Tijuana River Watershed by engaging in outreach, education, and advocating for natural resources.

TRAM 2012 will take place during the months of September and October. These months allow Tijuana River volunteers a  window of opportunity between the end of bird-nesting season and beginning of the rainy season to remove the debris that has compiled. In the one month during TRAM 2011, volunteers collected over 63,000 pounds of trash!

“Buildup of trash comprised of plastic bottles, bags, tires, large pieces of packaging, styrofoam, and toys buried by large amounts of sediment, can be found throughout the Tijuana River Valley from previous winter rains and will eventually make way to the  sensitive estuary habitat and ocean when the  rains start up again” said Dan Murphy, Surfrider NoBS (Border Sewage) Coordinator.

“We can’t effectively cleanup during the spring when the river is running. It’s just too inaccessible and can be too dirty,” said Tijuana Estuary’s Acting Manager Chris Peregrin  in the IB Patch. “Trash that isn’t removed can harm threatened or endangered species that call the estuary home.”

TRAM 2012 partner organizations include: Tijuana River National Estuarine Research ReserveCA State Parks,Surfrider San Diego,  SWIAI Love a Clean San Diego4 Walls InternationalProyecto Fronterizo de Educacion Ambiental, and WiLDCOAST; it is supported by the City of Imperial Beach, County of San Diego,Department of Public Works, the County of San Diego’s Park Rangers, the  City of San Diego Stormwater Department, International and Boundary Water Commission, SDGE, and REI Corporate and REI Foundation.

The month of cleanups and educational events is preceded by Fiesta del Rio this Sunday September 9th, a celebration of the history and habitat of the Tijuana River Valley. The theme will be “Celebrating the Tijuana Estuary and its Cultures: where nature and nations meet.” California State Parks and the San Diego National Wildlife Refuge Complex host an exciting array of activities for the entire family that highlight the environment and cultures of the surrounding Tijuana River Estuary, an area that in the past has been home to Kumeyaay, Spanish, and Californio alike.

You can register for any of the TRAM events here: http://trnerr.org/?p=3130&utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=3rd-annual-tijuana-river-action-month

For more information on specific dates and times of activities please visit the Tijuana River Action Network’s Facebook page