2018 was a year of successful policy-making for California and our organization, even in the face of an onslaught of anti-environment, pro-industry policy changes, cabinet appointments, and rhetoric from the Trump Administration and enduring serious natural disasters across the state – wildfire, mudslides, and flooding.
Despite these challenges, California Coastkeeper Alliance (CCKA) and California Waterkeepers stayed focused and worked together to achieve meaningful accomplishments. All good lists seem to recognize the “top ten,” so here are ours for 2018:
- California adopted an Industrial Stormwater Permit to incorporate first-in-the-nation numeric effluent limitations, while encouraging stormwater capture and integrated water management.
- California set a statewide goal to recycle ALL ocean wastewater discharges; thereby reducing ocean pollution and instead using that water for critically needed domestic water supply.
- CCKA launched the Business Alliance for Protecting the Pacific Coast, and rallied nearly 1,100 businesses to submit comments to the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, opposing new or expanded offshore drilling on the West Coast. By the end of 2018, more than 2,300 businesses have joined the Alliance, and we are prepared to continue the fight against expanded offshore drilling that threatens our marine environments and coastal economy.
- Governor Brown signed Senate Bill 834 (Jackson) and AB 1775 (Muratsuchi) into law, which prohibits the leasing of state lands and waters for construction of new pipelines, platforms, and other infrastructure needed to bring offshore oil and gas to shore for processing.
- CCKA secured $6 million in the California Budget to start a beneficial reuse program. The program will leverage federal funding spent on the ocean disposal of dredged sediment, and instead, the state will use that sediment for wetland restoration.
- CCKA secured a test-case municipality to raise a Senate Bill 231 (Hertzberg) stormwater fee that would set a statewide precedent for municipalities to raise funding for stormwater management without the impossible barriers of Proposition 218.
- The State Water Board’s penalty enforcement of stormwater violations increased by 61% and their Performance Review now breaks down enforcement actions by region so that the public can daylight systematic enforcement deficiencies.
- CCKA published “A solution to California water pollution: The benefits of citizen lawsuits and their value for clean water enforcement in California”.
- CCKA and the California Waterkeepers secured a published appellate court victory, in Monterey Coastkeeper vs. State Water Resources Control Board, which determined that the state was illegally avoiding compliance with the state’s Non-Point Source Policy when develop agricultural permits.
- CCKA was proud to be featured alongside fellow California Waterkeepers in the summer edition of Vanity Fair, where reporter Bruno Navasky wrote, “The Waterkeepers are the closest thing to aquatic superheroes that the Golden State’s got.”
Executive Director Sean Bothwell leads CCKA’s initiatives to protect and defend California’s ocean, bays and rivers.