Businesses Push California to Become a Leader on Trash Pollution

On April 7th, California Coastkeeper Alliance brought the voice of a diverse group of businesses to Sacramento to speak out against trash, and in defense of the state’s iconic beaches, coast, rivers, and bays that fuel the California economy. California’s waters are one of the state’s most powerful economic resources, yet this unparalleled natural capital has suffered as trash is accumulating in California’s waters and on its beaches at an alarming rate. 

Both the problem and solution reside on land. The vast majority of trash that ends up in the ocean travels from stormwater drains to rivers and streams. Thanks to CCKA and Blue Business Council efforts, California now has a statewide plan for how local governments should prevent trash pollution flowing into waterways. To achieve this precedent setting reform, CCKA worked for three years to advise the State Water Board on the development of a statewide Trash Policy, which the State Water Board adopted on April 7th, declaring a statewide goal of no trash in California’s waters. The Policy will be a critical improvement in preventing trash from reaching California's beaches, bays, rivers, streams and lakes, and serve as a national model to attain trash free waterways. 

While some charged with implementing the new plan pressured the State Board to weaken provisions and make the Trash Policy difficult to enforce, many businesses, led by CCKA’s Blue Business Council, voiced support for the adoption of measures that promise to truly reduce trash pollution in California. Simply put, keeping trash out of our waters is not only good for the environment, it is an investment in the state’s economic future.   

For California Coastkeeper Alliance's full press release, click here.

Download California Coastkeeper Alliance's guide to the new Trash Policy here

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California Snowpack at Record Low

On April 1st, 2015, California officials revealed that the state’s snowpack is a meager 6% of normal, shattering a previous all-time record of only 25% set last winter. The virtual absence of snow in the Sierras, normally the state’s largest single source for stored water, means that there will be little to no spring runoff this year. A lack of snow and rain, combined with record high temperatures, has created one of the most challenging water crises California has ever faced. Over the next several months, California communities will run out of drinking water, rivers and wetlands will run dry, and we will witness serious impacts to ecosystems and endangered species.

California’s record low snowpack has led government officials to take urgent and unprecedented action. For the first time in state history, Governor Brown announced statewide mandatory water reductions to cut urban water usage by 25%, steep cutbacks on outdoor landscaping, and an increase in enforcement against water wasters and illegal water diverters. California Coastkeeper Alliance and California Waterkeeper organizations applaud these efforts as necessary to ensure communities, ecosystems, and the economy can weather this unprecedented drought. Furthermore, the Alliance urges Governor Brown to make these reforms permanent, and assure Californians, with a public declaration, that state officials will not allow salmon and other native species to go extinct during the drought. 

While this is the worst drought crisis California has ever faced; hotter, drier conditions brought by climate change guarantee it will not be the last. Sweeping, permanent reforms will not only ensure California survives this drought, but that we will be better prepared for the next. 

For California Coastkeeper Alliance's full press release, click here

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  • SD Coastkeeper Releases Water Quality Data for 2014

    San Diego Coastkeeper, your water quality watchdog in the southern end of the state, has released its 2014 results. Effective monitoring is essential in protecting public health, the environment, and working towards solutions to cleanup contaminated waters. Scores ranged from fair to poor and call to attention worsening water quality problems in the region.

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