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Urban Runoff

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NEWS
April 9, 2004
Alicia Robinson Two new studies point to urban runoff as the delivery system for bacteria and viruses that make swimmers sick in northern Orange County. A paper by a UC Irvine graduate, just published in the American Journal of Public Health, says that urban runoff sickened surfers using Orange County beaches nearly twice as often as those surfing in rural Santa Cruz County during the winter of 1998. Another study by a UC Irvine professor, to be published later this month in the Journal of Applied Microbiology, says when looking for potential health hazards in water, the state would be better served looking for viruses rather than bacteria levels.
NEWS
April 19, 2002
Barbara Diamond "Only rain in the storm drain" is a new city motto after the City Council voted unanimously Tuesday to pay its share of the county's costs for a plan to fight pollution from urban runoff. The plan is part of the requirements adopted by the San Diego Regional Water Quality Control Board in February for the new South County Urban Runoff Permit, which is being opposed by some cities. "Some other cities are determining whether to fight the requirements through the state or the courts, but we have put our resources into working toward implementation as soon as possible," said John Pietig, assistant city manager.
NEWS
By Mike Beanan | September 1, 2006
Urban runoff at Aliso Beach is now running between 2 to 8 million gallons per day (up from 1 to 5 million 10 years ago), according to county monitoring reports. In 1976, surveys by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service found tidewater goby (a fish found in California's coastal wetlands) at the beach wetlands pond, indicating a zero flow to the beach. The urban runoff ocean plume is pushed by currents into Treasure Island Cove, only 400 yards up coast in front of the Montage Resort, to expose unsuspecting visitors to possible gastrointestinal and respiratory illness, skin infections and even eye infections that can lead to blindness if not treated properly.
NEWS
April 19, 2002
During the next two weeks, city crews will install dams in eight of the city's storm drains and flood control channels to divert urban runoff during the spring and summer into the county's water treatment plant in an effort to prevent pollutants from reaching the ocean. Of the eight storm drains, two will have permanent dams built in them while the remaining six will house temporary blocks, said John Pietig, Laguna Beach's assistant city manager. The temporary dams will be removed in October.
NEWS
May 18, 2007
Toxin proves pollution problem Your report describing massive numbers of sea mammals and birds dying due to an outbreak of domoic acid poisoning off the coast of California, including Laguna Beach, is alarming. It is tragic testimony to our failure to be responsible stewards of our ocean by not addressing the causes of the problem. We scratch our heads and debate what could be causing such a horrific event. The plain truth is that we need to stop dumping what we don't want into our ocean.
LOCAL
By James Pribram | May 23, 2008
As Charles Barkley says on TV, “I’ve got good news.” California enjoyed its best dry-weather beach water quality on record in 2007-08, according to the 18th annual beach report card released today by the environmental group Heal the Bay. Heal the Bay assigned A-to-F letter grades to 517 beaches along the California coast, based on levels of weekly bacterial pollution reported from April 2007 to March 2008. Although no beach in Laguna was ranked in the top 10 of “beach bummers” (including the notoriously filthy Aliso Creek beach)
NEWS
By Charlotte Masarik | April 7, 2006
I am appalled that the U.S. Corps of Engineers, courtesy of the county of Orange, is permitted to dump from to 1 million to 5 million gallons of untreated urban runoff water every day, directly into the surf zone at Aliso Beach this summer. This is a response to the policies and politics of cities above the Aliso Estuary to reduce their toxic water and excess flow, [which occurs] at the expense of us all in Laguna Beach. I am not an expert on this issue but it doesn't take much brain power to understand you can't dump this kind of foul water into the ocean and not expect pollution that will badly affect the health of not only young surfers, body boarders, skimboarders, kids, my grandkids, beach-goers and our trusty lifeguards, but will produce horrible red tides that cause more bug-eyed distortions to the ocean environment.
NEWS
By Dan Beighley | March 31, 2006
City Council members are taking several steps to clean up Aliso Beach. The council voted 3-2 Tuesday to seek alternatives to Orange County's planned excavation of a natural sand berm that keeps polluted Aliso Creek water from reaching the ocean. Council members Toni Iseman, Jane Egly and Steve Dicterow voted "yes." Mayor Elizabeth Pearson-Schneider and Cheryl Kinsman voted against the plan. Council members also declared urban runoff entering the city a "nuisance" under state law, and will consider a city ordinance to restrict the disposal of waste liquids that can "degrade" area waters.
LOCAL
By Roger E. Butow | June 23, 2008
Clean Water Now! has recently taken the “Toxic Soup Tour” down off the shelf of our Water Quality Strategies 101 section and behold: The TST rides again! Co-founder of the TST Mike Hazzard and I decided that after a 7 year hiatus, we needed to remind South Orange County residents that their local, county and state governmental agencies continue to fail them regarding the sad plight of our watersheds. Originally, back in early 2000, we conceived of the TST as a Swiss pocketknife for ecological reform.
ARTICLES BY DATE
LOCAL
By James Pribram | November 20, 2009
On a glistening sunny morning in Sayulita, Mexico, the day after speaking at Mexico’s first green school (Costa Verde international school) which is committed to sustainability, her words still echoed through my head. We had held an essay contest for the children about the importance of preserving our beaches and oceans. With her words fresh in my mind, I looked out toward the ocean that morning to see two men diving for oysters. Everything about this moment seemed so pure and honest to me: what life used to be like in Laguna.
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LOCAL
By Roger von B├╝tow | June 5, 2009
Drought cycles and resulting fresh water resource depletions renew the century-old battle in California to find a sustainable balance of protected wilderness and increased human population demands in our home state. Many of these skirmishes wind up in courtrooms, the issues confused in the layperson’s mind by the labyrinth of regulatory edicts and hearing room proceedings. Portrayed in the media as pitting “Humans vs. Nature,” zero-sum games, many residents are unaware of the nexus between preservation and restoration of eco-systems for threatened or endangered species and improved safe environs for us all. A recent decision by NOAA’s National Marines Fisheries Service due to years of lobbying by the Clean Water Now!
NEWS
By Barbara Diamond | April 23, 2009
Runoff from private property onto city streets will be more than a nuisance under the terms of the proposed storm water permit — it will be illegal, and it could be a real drain on the city budget. The proposal by the Regional Water Quality Board-San Diego attempts aims to prevent any runoff from reaching storm drains. City Water Quality staff are reviewing the permit and will report to the council on the probable effect on Laguna. “It’s a very big deal ,and it will affect everybody,” Schissler said.
LOCAL
By Roger E. Butow | June 23, 2008
Clean Water Now! has recently taken the “Toxic Soup Tour” down off the shelf of our Water Quality Strategies 101 section and behold: The TST rides again! Co-founder of the TST Mike Hazzard and I decided that after a 7 year hiatus, we needed to remind South Orange County residents that their local, county and state governmental agencies continue to fail them regarding the sad plight of our watersheds. Originally, back in early 2000, we conceived of the TST as a Swiss pocketknife for ecological reform.
NEWS
May 18, 2007
Toxin proves pollution problem Your report describing massive numbers of sea mammals and birds dying due to an outbreak of domoic acid poisoning off the coast of California, including Laguna Beach, is alarming. It is tragic testimony to our failure to be responsible stewards of our ocean by not addressing the causes of the problem. We scratch our heads and debate what could be causing such a horrific event. The plain truth is that we need to stop dumping what we don't want into our ocean.
NEWS
By Mike Beanan | September 1, 2006
Urban runoff at Aliso Beach is now running between 2 to 8 million gallons per day (up from 1 to 5 million 10 years ago), according to county monitoring reports. In 1976, surveys by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service found tidewater goby (a fish found in California's coastal wetlands) at the beach wetlands pond, indicating a zero flow to the beach. The urban runoff ocean plume is pushed by currents into Treasure Island Cove, only 400 yards up coast in front of the Montage Resort, to expose unsuspecting visitors to possible gastrointestinal and respiratory illness, skin infections and even eye infections that can lead to blindness if not treated properly.
NEWS
By Roger E. Butow | April 21, 2006
It has been acknowledged that the mouth of Aliso Creek spews between 1 and 5 million gallons of pollution per day onto the beach during non-rainy weather. Another 1 to 2 million gallons never reaches the beach, as it evaporates or infiltrates upstream. What will improve the health of this lower reach and the entire watershed? Pull all of the man-made improvements out as you would an obnoxious weed ? demolish the golf course and resort. That is, rip 'em out roots and all, never to grow back.
NEWS
By Charlotte Masarik | April 7, 2006
I am appalled that the U.S. Corps of Engineers, courtesy of the county of Orange, is permitted to dump from to 1 million to 5 million gallons of untreated urban runoff water every day, directly into the surf zone at Aliso Beach this summer. This is a response to the policies and politics of cities above the Aliso Estuary to reduce their toxic water and excess flow, [which occurs] at the expense of us all in Laguna Beach. I am not an expert on this issue but it doesn't take much brain power to understand you can't dump this kind of foul water into the ocean and not expect pollution that will badly affect the health of not only young surfers, body boarders, skimboarders, kids, my grandkids, beach-goers and our trusty lifeguards, but will produce horrible red tides that cause more bug-eyed distortions to the ocean environment.
NEWS
By Dan Beighley | March 31, 2006
City Council members are taking several steps to clean up Aliso Beach. The council voted 3-2 Tuesday to seek alternatives to Orange County's planned excavation of a natural sand berm that keeps polluted Aliso Creek water from reaching the ocean. Council members Toni Iseman, Jane Egly and Steve Dicterow voted "yes." Mayor Elizabeth Pearson-Schneider and Cheryl Kinsman voted against the plan. Council members also declared urban runoff entering the city a "nuisance" under state law, and will consider a city ordinance to restrict the disposal of waste liquids that can "degrade" area waters.
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