San Diego County Chapter

Clean Border Water Now

Clean Border Water Now‘s (CBWN) mission is to address and eliminate the sewage, trash, sediment and chemical waste that plagues our ocean, waves and beaches in the Southern California border region. We do this by raising awareness through outreach and education, while impacting policy through our advocacy work.

Our Campaign’s Four Main Goals:

  1. Stop untreated sewage wastewater from entering the Pacific Ocean through the Tijuana River Valley (TRV).
  2. Stop chemical pollution from entering the Pacific Ocean through the TRV. 
  3. Stop plastic pollution from flowing through the TRV to the Pacific Ocean. 
  4. Stop coastal water pollution, including untreated wastewater and chemicals that travel laterally from Baja California beaches to San Diego county beaches.

CBWN is a volunteer-led program, directed by three local Imperial Beach residents.  It is also supported by a full-time campaign manager. In 2021, the CBWN Committee meets every fourth Monday of the month from 6:00-7:30 PM. Check the Surfrider San Diego Events Calendar or sign up for our monthly newsletter to find out the exact location/date/time. 

To reach out to the CBWN program, email: CBWN@surfridersd.org

Have you fallen ill from a day at the beach? Report it below using our tracking tool!

The Real Border Emergency

The health and well-being of coastal communities on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border and the millions of people who enjoy this stretch of coastline have long been under threat from the flow of untreated sewage, industrial pollution and trash into the Tijuana River Watershed and the Pacific Ocean.

Watch this gripping Surfrider Foundation video to learn more about this environmental and public health crisis.

Did You Know?

  • In 2020, the border area beaches were closed nearly 300 days!  
  • The Imperial Beach shorelines were closed for more than 40% of 2020! 
  • In February 2017, over 143 million gallons of raw sewage spilled on to the South San Diego County beaches for over two weeks without any notification. This is enough liquid to almost fill the Rose Bowl TWICE!
  •  Since the big spill in 2017, we have sent in over 10,000 letters and post cards for clean water to all levels of government!

Click the headings below or scroll down the webpage to learn more about the CBWN Program.

The TRV Solution

The TRV Solution is a conceptual design plan created to address some of the toughest sewage issues that we’re facing at the border. In the absence of federal leadership, Surfrider began designing this solution in 2018 on the heels of one of the most egregious sewage spills the region had ever seen. The goal of the TRV Solution is to address the sewage, chemicals, plastics, tires, and sediment that are destroying the TRV and putting the health and safety of the community at risk. The Tijuana Slough shoreline has been closed in excess of 215 days in 2019 alone.

For instance, the TRV Solution calls for:

  • continuous cleaning of the TRV,
  • building of infrastructure that will divert more sewage to the South Bay International Wastewater Treatment Plant and;
  • treatment of water before it gets to the beaches and Pacific Ocean. 

The TRV Solution is the culmination of two and a half years of collaborative research, attendance at public meetings, and experience and discussions with a wide range of community members, non profits, agencies and decision-makers. Surfrider has attended nearly 100 stakeholder meetings over the last three years on the border sewage issue and it is those meetings that have helped shape the TRV Solution. Regular attendance and participation at public meetings allowed Surfrider the opportunity to develop strong relationships with the community and agencies highly involved in the border sewage issue. In drafting the TRV Solution, Surfrider also took into consideration more than 10,000 letters collected from San Diego County residents over the last three years, which advocated for funding, projects, and legislation to combat the border pollution crisis.

Tijuana's Toxic Tributaries

Watch this video to see how the trash, sewage and chemical waste travels across the border.

Video by: This Is Ca

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