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Clean Border Water Now - June 2019 Updates

Clean Border Water Now
June 2019 Updates

Written by: Danielle Moore

June was jammed-packed for us at Clean Border Water Now! We attended government meetings, held booths at festivals, and planned for the Tijuana River Action Month.

During the first week of June, we attended two important government meetings on the future of the Tijuana River. The Border Stakeholder Meeting on June 5 was the first meeting we went to, and it was held in Coronado. It was filled by representatives from all types of government: federal, city, county, state and international. Specifically, there were speakers from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), U.S. International Boundary and Water Commission (IBWC), U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the California EPA, and the County of San Diego.

Overall, the stakeholder meeting speakers discussed the results of studies their organizations conducted on the Tijuana River, such as on the river’s chemical composition and possible infrastructure projects. All of the organizations proposed alternative plans on how they can contribute to solving the pollution problem, but there was not a definite agreement by the end of the meeting.

A day later, we also attended the Citizen’s Forum on June 6 at the Tijuana River Estuary. The Citizen’s Forum was led by representatives from the IBWC and U.S. EPA, who spoke once again about their possible infrastructure plans. However, more local citizens were in attendance at this meeting, and they were able to voice their concerns such as their frustration at the lack of progress.

On June 7th, Surfrider San Diego Policy Coordinator, Kaily Wakefield, spoke at a press conference in support of Senator Ben Hueso’s SB-690, which addresses water quality in the Tijuana River Valley and provides funding for much needed infrastructure. Please take a moment to sign this action alert supporting SB-690!

Aside from these intergovernmental meetings, us at Clean Border Water Now have been working in the community. On June 8, we had a booth at the first annual CaliBaja Arts Festival at Veterans’ Park in Imperial Beach. We were at a Surfrider booth for about eight hours, collecting signatures for letters to Congress on the Tijuana River. In addition, we met new people, gave out a few bumper stickers, and let community members know how they can become more active in stopping the pollution.

On June 13, we had our monthly Clean Border Water Now meeting. We were pleased to feature special guest speaker, Arturo Angeles, Founding Executive Director of NATURALUS. Naturalus is an environmental non-profit organization based in Tijuana, focused on environmental education through multimedia campaigns on social and traditional media. Arturo led the fight against plastic bags which lead to the Tijuana plastic bag ban in March 2019.

In addition, we started planning for the Tijuana River Action Month, which is held in September and October. So far, there will be a beach cleanup, tour of the Tijuana River Valley, and a restoration event planned, so stay tuned!