Tuesday, February 16, 2010
California Know Your H20 Policy Update
Know Your H2O Film Project:
The animated video is progressing very well. The plan is to launch the video on World Water Day (March 22nd) with some coordinated events, media and video screenings.
This film depicts the Surfrider Foundation's vision of current problems with the way we manage freshwater, and solutions that can not only provide sustainable future supplies but take meaningful steps towards restoring our coast and ocean. It gives everyone from homeowners to government agencies a blueprint for change.
The film was made possible by countless hours from talented and dedicated volunteers, and financial contributions from several chapters.
Ocean Desalination Projects:
Our Request for Revocation based on a flawed greenhouse gas mitigation plan was voted down by the Coastal Commission. However, they also voted down Poseidon's motion that eliminated the findings that they had intentionally misled the Commission by refusing to provide documents undermining their GHG mitigation calculation. The action by the Coastal Commission was weak, but we believe compulsory mitigation of greenhouse gases is a marginal victory and important legal precedent for future desal proposals.
We are waiting to hear from the State Water Resources Control Board on their decision whether or not to go forward with our challenge of the Poseidon-Carlsbad intake permit. We hope to hear something in the next week or so. This decision will also be critical to ensuring only proposals that use the best design, location and technology to minimize marine life mortality are approved for Carlsbad and any future desal proposal.
Poseidon-Huntington is now preparing a Supplemental EIR. We have not seen the issues they plan to address. But our experience in Carlsbad makes us better prepared to comment on the SEIR in Huntington Beach.
Ocean Friendly Gardens:
We presented the OFG program to the Coastal Commission and Coastal Conservancy staff last week. They are interested in doing a pilot "urban watershed renovation" project with multiple NGOs to document the benefits of LID, OFG, daylighting urban creeks, etc. We think it might make sense to just do a carefully selected neighborhood and get some before and after data on dry & wet weather runoff — both volume and pollutant loading. They liked it and we are scheduled to go back in March to walk a neighborhood in San Francisco that may serve as a pilot. We hope to convince the Coastal Conservancy to do a pilot in Southern California as well — maybe the San Jon sub-watershed in Ventura that the Ventura Chapter has identified. Check it out here:
The study in San Diego is moving forward and the progress is positive - yet slow.
Also, Surfrider Foundation is now a member of the multi-stakeholder Los Angeles Recycled Wastewater planning group and will attend our first meeting on Feb 25.
Finally, California Senator Pavley has drafted a bill directing the Department of Public Health to promulgate drinking water quality standards for recycled wastewater. As is, we think the bill is a step in the right direction. We are looking into the bill and we'll be talking to PCL (who sponsored the bill), and then maybe Senator Pavley's office with some suggested improvements.
Los Angeles is considering some fairly progressive ordinances to implement LID and "green streets."
Also, cities statewide are trying to meet the deadlines for implementing their own landscape/irrigation ordinances for new development - or just implement the State’s model ordinance. Finding and highlighting innovative ordinances will be one way that we can promote best practices.
Wednesday, February 10, 2010
California Stemming the Tide of Plastics to our Oceans
ABC News recently did a special report following Algalita Marine Research Foundation's work on plastics in our ocean and in our fish and marine life. While the report mentions that coastal communities are addressing the problem by trying to prevent plastics and litter from entering our oceans, waves and beaches, it does not mention the statewide efforts that are underway in Hawaii, Oregon, DC, Florida and elsewhere. Here in California, the following bills have been proposed:
- SB 4 Cigarette Butt Ban on our Beaches and Parks
- AB 925 Leash your Lid to prevent bottle caps from entering waterways
- Stemming the Tide of Plastic Bags (through a fee or ban)
- Polystyrene Ban for take out ware
- Extended Producer Responsibility ("EPR")
Surfrider Foundation is working directly to support these initiatives and with the help of other organizations in the Clean Seas Coalition to make our voices heard in the State Capitol and to our local representatives.