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State Acts Quickly to Clean Up Tijuana River before Winter Rains: Trash from Mexico is flowing into sensitive California wetlands and estuary

SACRAMENTO--The California Integrated Waste Management Board awarded $250,000 in grants to expedite the installation and establishment of a trash capture and removal system along the California-Mexico border before the arrival of winter/spring rains.
The affected area is in the Tijuana River Valley and Goat Canyon Estuary in Border Field State Park, 15 miles south of San Diego. It is located entirely within the Tijuana River National Estuarine Research Reserve, an important wildlife habitat managed by the California Department of Parks and Recreation.
“The tires and trash flowing from Mexico pose an environmental threat to the Tijuana River Valley, the estuary, and one of the few remaining tidal wetlands in Southern California," said Board Chair Margo Reid Brown. "This cleanup grant, and our partnership with California State Parks, will help protect the pristine beauty of this environmentally sensitive area."
Today's action will allow Waste Board and State Parks contractors to immediately install a trash boom collection system in the Upper and Lower Goat Canyon tidal basins for use in this wet season. State Parks had previously designed and purchased the boom system for the basins but did not have the resources or funds to expedite its installation for use this winter.
The contractors will also assist in the initial removal of trash, tires, and sediment. State Parks will provide site access and will be responsible for long-term operation and maintenance of the system.
The Waste Board and State Parks will work closely with other State and local agencies, as well as nonprofits, to ensure that the sand dunes and salt marshes that give refuge to critically threatened endangered birds will continue to be a viable environmental resource.
“The California Integrated Waste Management Board should be commended for its support and contribution to the continuing effort to protect and restore the beneficial uses of water in the lower Tijuana River,” said John Robertus, executive officer of the San Diego Regional Water Quality Control Board. “This is a positive result of government agencies and stakeholders working together to identify a threat to the environment, develop solutions, and provide funding to help correct the problems.”
The grants awarded today come from the Waste Board's Solid Waste Disposal and Codisposal Grant Program, which funds the cleanup of sites when a responsible party cannot be identified or is unable or unwilling to pay cleanup costs. The grants accelerate timely cleanup of dump sites that pose a risk to public health or the environment.
Watch a video story on the grant, and B-Roll is available for media outlets.