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5 Coastkeeper Highlights from 2021

By December 23, 2021Blog

Our team was busy this year! Check out these five big victories from 2021.

Enraged by the Amplify oil spill in October, we have reignited our fight for expedited offshore oil rig decommissioning. In the past two months, we have worked with partners such as CARE, Vans, Assemblywoman Petrie-Norris, and Senator Min to push forward a workable plan that would provide a clear path to decommissioning. In an effort to clear our coast of oil drilling, we are planning an extensive decommissioning summit in April. We are excited to share more details with you in January!

In addition to planning our summit, we developed a new oil spill curriculum for our watershed education programs and sent out numerous Public Records Act requests to uncover more details about the spill.

This year saw the return of two of our most popular programs: beach cleanups and field trips! While our team adapted well to the challenges of pandemic safety measures, we are happy to be out engaging with our wonderful volunteers in person. Our cleanup dates are set for January, February, and March if you’d like to register early on our website!

2021 was the fifth year of our continued partnership with CSUF and CSULB to restore eelgrass beds in Newport Bay. The initial plan was to establish a third of an acre, but we have tripled that! With recruitment growth from our beds, the bay is home to approximately four new acres of eelgrass. This provides a habitat for many sea animals, including sea horses. Read more about our restoration projects here.

Our clean water enforcement program cleaned up more illegal pollution discharges from industrial facilities, continuing our legal department’s 100% success rate in over 130 enforcement cases over the years. We fill the void of water quality enforcement left by our Regional Water Board that no longer prioritizes enforcement of clean water laws. An added benefit is that we have directed nearly $500,000 in penalties from these cases to other NGOs in 2021.

Have you seen a specific source of pollution impacting your waterway? Report it to us using this form, and we will investigate it.

Lastly, we continued to oppose the Poseidon desalination project in Huntington Beach, a battle that we have been fighting for over 20 years! This nearly $2 billion privately held project (though planning on government subsidies) has never proven a need for their water. In truth, a water reliability study conducted by the Municipal Water District of Orange County found that Poseidon’s plant is the most infeasible and expensive of all proposed new water projects.

In March 2022, this boondoggle will seek coastal development permit approval from the California Coastal Commission. For the latest news regarding the #StopPoseidon campaign, follow our coalition’s Instagram page or visit our website, californiadesalfacts.org.

Will you help protect clean water in 2022?