Over the past several months, we participated in a study with Waterkeeper Alliance to determine how polluted our waterways are with “forever chemicals” known as PFAS. Of the 114 waterways tested, 83% contained detectable levels of at least one PFAS compound.
We were shocked to discover that San Diego Creek in Orange County contained the highest levels of PFAS concentrations of all the sample sites on the West Coast. In total, fifteen different PFAS compounds were found in detectable quantities, including two of the four addressed in the EPA’s interim drinking water health advisory.
This surface water study further shows why we need advanced drinking water treatment solutions. There are currently four PFAS treatment facilities in Orange County, with about 30 more in development.
On Friday, October 7, we held our annual “Toast the Coast” fundraiser at the Balboa Pavilion in Newport Beach. Despite a two-year hiatus, our fundraiser was as successful as ever! We would like to thank our wonderful sponsors, donors, board members, partners, and staff for making it all possible.
This month marks 50 years since Congress passed the Clean Water Act of 1972, empowering the EPA, individuals, and groups like us to protect the country’s waterways. This powerful law has enabled our organization to clean up countless polluting facilities around Orange County and the Inland Empire.
On October 25, we wished the Act a happy birthday with our friends at Santa Ana River Brewing. If you missed this event, don’t fret because this is just the beginning of our partnership. Without clean water, you can’t have clean beer!
While this milestone is worthy of celebration, the Act has been weakened over the past 50 years by deregulation, lack of enforcement, and other serious problems. Join us and Waterkeeper Alliance in fighting for improved water protection!
On Friday, October 14, the California Coastal Commission approved a Coastal Development Permit for a controversial dredging project impacting Newport Harbor.
The City of Newport Beach will create a Confined Aquatic Disposal (CAD) facility to address underwater sediment buildup. In partnership with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the City will dredge areas of Newport Harbor and bury the removed sediment in a hole at the bottom of the harbor. Because the dredged material is polluted with hazardous chemicals, the City will cover the hole with a layer of non-contaminated sediment to act as a barrier.
We opposed their proposal as the City had minimized the dangers of the CAD and not considered less risky alternatives. Our advocacy team will continue to track this project to ensure Newport Bay’s water quality and wildlife are treated fairly.
Our team experienced some incredible development opportunities this month! Our legal team traveled to the Environmental Law Conference at Yosemite, where they attended panels and mingled with other like-minded advocates.
Later in the month, our education team camped in Castaic Lake, where they honed their leadership skills and learned about nature’s ability to push for social change. This opportunity was made possible by our Outdoor Equity Grant through California State Parks.
A new coffee shop in Tustin is donating 10% of all its grand opening profits to our organization! The event lasts all day Friday and Saturday and will be filled with giveaways and games.