California Beaches Blog

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29 Jan, 2010

Clean Water Bill Is Supposed to Help California Beaches

Posted by: Beach Reporter In: beaches| california

With recent media attention to the pollution on California’s beaches after it rains, the recognition has heightened that there’s a whole lot of trash that gets washed into the Pacific Ocean. Surfrider Foundation is supporting  the The Green Infrastructure for Clean Water Act (HR 4202) which has been introduced by Representatives Edwards (MD), Carnagan (MO) and Driehaus (OH) into the House of Representatives.

Most of us have grown leery of anything that will cost more money, yet there’s much to be considered in this proposition. One of California’s largest water consumers is Southern California.  Southern California’s water supply travels thousands of miles from the Colorado River and from canals in Northern California. Due to persistent drought, growing population and legislation, less water will be delivered from these sources in the future.

Many rivers near the coast of California have been paved over, and nearly all storm drain pipes empty into the Pacific Ocean. This dumps animal waste, pesticides, fertilizers, oil and pollution from our cars and roads, plastics and anything else in our watersheds and ultimately into the ocean. See our recent blog post on the Beach Hero who pulls shopping carts out of the San Gabriel River feeding into the ocean at Seal Beach.

Through conservation, climate-appropriate plants, permeable pavement, and  waste  water re-use, the drinking water and ocean run-off can both be improved.

Use of Green Infrastructure and Low Impact Development is an innovative approach to urban planning that seeks to maintain and restore the water cycle in developed watersheds.

Green Infrastructure Best Management Practices:

  • are designed to infiltrate, filter, store and treat stormwater close to its source.
  • Examples include natural buffer areas, green streets, green roofs, permeable pavements and rainwater capturing technologies.

The Green Infrastructure for Clean Water Act proposes to

  • Establish Centers of Excellence for Green Infrastructure
  • Conduct research
  • Provide technical assistance to state and local governments
  • Establish a federal grant program to fund planning, construction & monitoring of Green Infrastructure projects
  • Special consideration for grants will be given to low-income and communities with combined sewer systems
  • Establish a Green Infrastructure Program housed within the EPA’s Office of Water

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