Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Help Support EcoWatch

California Waterkeepers Announce Plan to Tackle State’s Biggest Water Quality Threat

California Coastkeeper Alliance

Today, California Coastkeeper Alliance (CCKA), which represents 12 California Waterkeeper organizations throughout the state, announces the appointment of Sara Aminzadeh as executive director. Promoted from her role as acting executive director, Aminzadeh assumes the role simultaneously as she launches a two-year campaign to tackle California’s biggest—yet largely unknown—water quality problem: polluted runoff.

“We’ve made huge strides in controlling pollution from pipes, but toxic runoff from agriculture operations, the urban landscape and industrial facilities still plagues our coasts, bays and rivers,” said Aminzadeh. “It is a low profile, high-impact problem that degrades the California way of life and our state’s ocean and tourist-based economy.”

Pulp mills and power plants line Humboldt Bay. Photo courtesy of Humboldt Baykeeper

According to CCKA, polluted runoff is often considered an issue too complicated to solve, but left ignored, the problem has serious economic and public health implications. Research shows that contamination from polluted runoff at Southern California beaches sickens approximately one million swimmers every year, resulting in public health costs of up to $50 million.

The two-year campaign enables CCKA to organize its locally based Waterkeeper organizations under a single focus, helps Californians understand the problem, mobilizes citizens and engages businesses in new ways. To begin, Aminzadeh will seek statewide permits that effectively regulate runoff to California waters as required by federal and state pollution laws, and enable citizen action to improve local water quality.

Runoff from the San Dieguito River flows into the ocean at north county beach in San Diego. Photo by Shannon Switzer

“Citizen monitoring and investigation by local Waterkeeper organizations of industrial and municipal facilities helps highlight pollution hotspots, spurs immediate improvements to water quality, and can inform the development of better policies and regulations,” said Aminzadeh.

Aminzadeh’s experience includes advocacy before state decision makers as policy director for CCKA and as a policy analyst with San Francisco Baykeeper. In 2010, she helped launch CCKA’s climate change adaptation programs including work to address sea level rise and ocean acidification. Aminzadeh serves as the public representative on California’s Water Quality Monitoring Council, working to communicate water quality data and information to the public in an easily understood manner. She received a juris doctorate from University of California, Hastings College of the Law and a bachelors of science in Environmental Studies from University of California, Santa Barbara, where she graduated with honors.

Visit EcoWatch’s WATER page for more related news on this topic.

--------

California Coastkeeper Alliance is a state-local partnership with California’s 12 Waterkeeper organizations to ensure that Californians enjoy clean water and a healthy coast. CCKA is a member of the international Waterkeeper Alliance, a movement with almost 200 programs around the world.

 

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Refrigerated trucks function as temporary morgues at the South Brooklyn Marine Terminal on May 06, 2020 in New York City. As of July, the states where COVID-19 cases are rising are mostly in the West and South. Justin Heiman / Getty Images

The official number of people in the U.S. who have lost their lives to the new coronavirus has now passed 130,000, according to tallies from The New York Times, Reuters and Johns Hopkins University.

Read More Show Less
A man walks on pink snow at the Presena glacier near Pellizzano, Italy on July 4, 2020. MIGUEL MEDINA / AFP via Getty Images

In a troubling sign for the future of the Italian Alps, the snow and ice in a glacier is turning pink due to the growth of snow-melting algae, according to scientists studying the pink ice phenomenon, as CNN reported.

Read More Show Less
Climate activist Greta Thunberg discusses EU plans to tackle the climate emergency with Parliament's environment committee on March 4, 2020. CC-BY-4.0: © European Union 2020 – Source: EP

By Abdullahi Alim

The 2008 financial crisis spurred a number of youth movements including Occupy Wall Street and the Arab Spring. A decade later, this anger resurfaced in a new wave of global protests, from Hong Kong to Beirut to London, only this time driven by the children of the 2008 financial crisis.

Read More Show Less
A climate activist holds a victory sign in Washington, DC. after President Obama announced that he would reject the Keystone XL Pipeline proposal on November 6, 2015. Mark Wilson / Getty Images

By Jake Johnson

The Supreme Court late Monday upheld a federal judge's rejection of a crucial permit for Keystone XL and blocked the Trump administration's attempt to greenlight construction of the 1,200-mile crude oil project, the third such blow to the fossil fuel industry in a day—coming just hours after the cancellation of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline and the court-ordered shutdown of the Dakota Access Pipeline.

Read More Show Less
A forest fire in Yakutsk in eastern Siberia on June 2, 2020. Yevgeny Sofroneyev / TASS via Getty Images

Once thought too frozen to burn, Siberia is now on fire and spewing carbon after enduring its warmest June ever, according to CNN.

Read More Show Less
The Colima fir tree's distribution has been reduced to the area surrounding the Nevado de Colima volcano. Agustín del Castillo

By Agustín del Castillo

For 20 years, the Colima fir tree (Abies colimensis) has been at the heart of many disputes to conserve the temperate forests of southern Jalisco, a state in central Mexico. Today, the future of this tree rests upon whether the area's avocado crops will advance further and whether neighboring communities will unite to protect it.

Read More Show Less

Trending

Independent environmental certifications offer a better indicator of a product's eco credentials, including labor conditions for workers involved in production. Flickr / CC by 2.0

By Jeanette Cwienk

This summer's high street fashions have more in common than styles and colors. From the pink puff-sleeved dream going for just €19.99 ($22.52) at H&M, to Zara's elegant €12.95 ($14.63) halter-neck dress, clothing stores are alive with cheap organic cotton.

"Sustainable" collections with aspirational own-brand names like C&A's "Wear the change," Zara's "join life" or H&M's "CONSCIOUS" are offering cheap fashion and a clean environmental conscience. Such, at least, is the message. But is it really that simple?

Read More Show Less