Press Release: WILDCOAST will receive California State funding to reduce the amount of tires flowing into the Tijuana River Valley from Mexico
Feb 05, 2016 05:08PM
By Paul Spear
WILDCOAST will receive California State funding to reduce the amount of tires flowing into the Tijuana River Valley from Mexico.
Tires will be collected, shredded, and recycled in Tijuana.
WILDCOAST will partner with the Secretary of the Environment of Baja California (SPA), private sector waste companies in Tijuana, and the social sector to mitigate the impacts of waste tires in the border region. The grant proposal was considered at a meeting of the California-Mexico Border Relations Council on February 1st and was unanimously approved. Funding for $100,000 grant will be provided by CalRecycle (the State agency for waste tire management) and the Regional Solid Waste Working group.
“This is a critical first step in cleaning up waste tires that have a significant impact on public and environmental health in the Tijuana River Valley as well as on the open space there,” added Serge Dedina, Imperial Beach Mayor and co-founder of WILDCOAST/ COSTASALVAJE. “This innovative approach to cleaning up on the Mexican side of the border to prevent tires from crossing to the U.S. side builds upon California's excellent relationship with Baja California and Mexico and illustrates why working together with our neighbor to the south is the only approach to environmental problem solving in our region, where two countries share a river (a watershed).”
WILDCOAST /COSTASALVAJE is an international organization dedicated to conserving coastal and marine ecosystems and wildlife. “We are thankful that CalRecycle is helping to mitigate the effects of improper tire disposal at the border”, said Fay Crevoshay, Communications and Policy Director of WILDCOAST.
Last year, the Regional Solid Waste Working Group was established through the 2015 state budget following the leadership of California State Assembly Speaker Atkins in supporting stakeholder efforts to increase binational cooperation and implement waste tire mitigation programs to protect the Tijuana River watershed. “This watershed is one of our region’s most precious natural resources but it has constantly been threatened,” said Speaker Atkins (D-San Diego). “The environmental impact of tires and other debris and pollutants in the Tijuana River Valley cannot be underestimated. The Regional Solid Waste Working Group has been working to find solutions to this issue and I was delighted to hear that WILDCOAST will receive a grant to begin this long-awaited process of restoring and protecting the river valley.”
Millions of California’s waste tires are exported to Tijuana each year. These tires then flow back into California through the Tijuana River during storm events and can impact habitat and water quality in adjacent beach communities and protected areas. Additionally, these waste tires create habitat for types of mosquitos that can carry the increasingly alarming Zika virus. These mosquitoes are already prevalent in the Tijuana River Valley and the pressing public health concern regarding the spread of the Zika virus makes cleaning up these tires a priority.