Support the Beach Safety Bill

by Alice Martinez
alifornia Assembly member Howard Wayne, representing the 78th District that runs from La Jolla to the Mexican border, has introduced a beach-safety bill. The bill, AB 411, will finally require the testing and posting of potential health-threatening pollution "events" at beaches throughout the state. AB 411 will require testing of all beaches, establish minimum protective standards for the monitoring sites and frequency, and require posting along affected beaches.

Community members who have been affected by pollution flowing from polluted storm drain runoff and sewage overflows throughout San Diego County and have had to fight extended battles just to get signs posted about the pollution dangers, which are discovered from testing the County already undertakes. (see SDET Nov. '96). This bill will require appropriate testing and reporting be done for the public ­ so that activists don't have to fight for it.

Isn't it time we just "did the right thing" by letting people know where the pollution dangers are? This is the first step to locating where the pollution is coming from. The "out-of-sight, out-of-mind" mentality will never get our beaches clean . Having to report on health threats in the water just might. Contact your state assembly member and ask for their support. If they are not in support of the bill, ask why - and let us know.

As of this writing, no other members of the San Diego contingent had signed on to the bill. The address for all assembly members is: Sacramento CA 95814. To find out who your representatives are, call the Registrar of Voters at (619) 570-1061. To find out the current status of the bill, contact Wayne's office at: (619) 234-7878.

California and the World

Ocean Conference
March 24-27
Town & Country Hotel

ponsored by over 40 organizations, this conference provides an opportunity to learn about, help refine and suggest ways to implement a landmark strategy, California's Ocean Rescues: An Agenda for the Future.

This Agenda will set forth ocean and coastal resource management goals for California which address resource stewardship; economic sustainability; research, education and technology; and jurisdiction and ownership. Internationally-known speakers will address topics such as marine protected areas, resource economics, water quality, safety of ports, harbors, and shipping; aquaculture; tourism and recreation; fisheries, desalination, development of offshore oil and gas; and the prevention and cleanup of oil spills and shoreline erosion.

Early registration by March 10 for the four-day conference is only $95 ($45 for student and K-12 educators). After March 20th, the participant fee is $120. You can attend an accompanying exhibition, opening reception and opening session for only $25.

Contact Sheila Robertson (707) 987-2385x208.