San Clemente, CA (November 6, 2009) – Following a 10-hour meeting, with hundreds in attendance, the Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board voted 5-2 to ban new septic systems in central and eastern Malibu, and force existing ones to halt wastewater discharges by the year 2020. This is a pivotal decision for supporters of the “Clean Water at the ‘Bu” Campaign, and is a huge milestone towards improving water quality in the lower Malibu Creek watershed and Surfrider Beach.
“This was a once in a lifetime experience to be part of this victory for Malibu, and to see our chapter and Surfrider supporters everywhere come together for this historic win,” says West Los Angeles/Malibu Chapter Spokesperson Marilee Sweeney.
The Surfrider Foundation’s West Los Angeles/Malibu Chapter along with a coalition of environmental groups including Heal the Bay, Santa Monica Baykeeper and the Malibu Surfing Association were out in full-force at the hearing with t-shirts, speaker and support cards, buttons, and over 1,100 petition signatures advocating for “Clean Water at the ‘Bu.”
“The issue of poor water quality at Malibu was one of the reasons that the Surfrider Foundation came into existence and find a solution to the septic problem has been a long time coming, so this is a huge achievement for the surfing community” says Chad Nelsen Surfrider Foundation’s Environmental Director.
Surfrider Beach, known as birthplace of the California beach lifestyle and the Surfrider Foundation, is an iconic spot considered to be a crown jewel of surfing. It is also one of the most polluted beaches in the state, consistently receiving poor water quality grades for over two decades. These unsafe recreational conditions come as a result from both contaminated runoff from city streets, and inappropriately sited commercial and residential septic tanks in the Malibu Civic Center area. This runoff and contaminated groundwater flows into Malibu Creek, Malibu Lagoon and ultimately Surfrider Beach.
The septic to sewer transition will be implemented in five years for commercial properties and ten years for residential.
For more information on “Clean Water at the ‘Bu,” please visit www.surfriderwlam.org/cleanthebu/.
About Surfrider Foundation
The Surfrider Foundation is a non-profit grassroots environmental organization dedicated to the protection and enjoyment of our world’s oceans, waves and beaches. Now in its 25th year, the Surfrider Foundation has grown from a small group of dedicated surfers in Malibu, California to a global movement made up of over 50,000 members and 90 chapters worldwide. For more information visit us at www.surfrider.org.