Background

Border region pollution is a multi-dimensional problem affecting public health, the environment and the economy of Playas de Tijuana and Rosarito. During rains, trash and wastewater in Tijuana enter the river and flow into the ocean. Insufficient data exist to fully understand the health impacts from sewage-contaminated ocean water. Furthermore, solid waste poses a huge environmental threat to the coastal ecosystem.

Goals

  1. Improve public notification of beach closures in Playas de Tijuana and Rosarito;
  2. build community capacity to monitor beach water quality; 3) collect ocean illness–related data to educate decision-makers about the threats to the environment and public health and; 4) educate youth and ocean users about watershed and coastal conservation and ways to safeguard their health.

Main Activities

  1. Develop a Playas de Tijuana and Rosarito citizen-driven water quality program that will include: trainings, monthly citizen water quality sampling, and data collection.
  2. Survey of ocean-user illness, specific to Playas de Tijuana and Rosarito.
  3. Creation of a report on ocean illness survey data collected, with recommendations for solutions to be presented to elected officials.
  4. Creation of beach closure sign postings for areas highly transited by beach and ocean users in Rosarito and Playas de Tijuana in partnership with stakeholder agencies.
  5. Community workshops on public health impacts from poor beach water quality, on watershed conservation, and on how to protect ocean users’ health.
  6. Lifeguard trainings to help them understand public health risks associated with sewage-contaminated ocean water so they can better inform beach visitors.
  7. In-class school presentations working with local elementary, middle and high school youth on watershed and coastal conservation.
  8. Conduct at least four community-driven beach cleanups to prevent impacts to coastal ecosystem from solid waste.
  9. Creation of social and mass media campaign to promote the project and raise the general public’s knowledge of water quality issues in the border region.

Results