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July 25, 2011

WiLDCOAST Leads Tour for the Department of Environmental Protection of the City of Tijuana

In the Tijuana River Valley and Estuary
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Photo by WiLDCOAST

On July 14th WiLDCOAST and Tijuana Calidad de Vida lead a tour for the newly appointed Director of  the Environmental Protection Department (DPA) of the City of Tijuana Michelle Rodriguez and her staff. The DPA’s goal is to preserve, conserve and restore the ecological balance and the protection of the environment for the municipality of the City of Tijuana.

 

Michelle and her staff learned first hand about the challenges associated with the cross-border trash, waste-tires and excess sediment impacting the fragile ecosystems of the Tijuana River Valley and the federally protected Estuary.

 

Most of the uncollected trash and waste comes from unregulated urban settlements in the City of Tijuana that do not have trash collection due to lack of resources.  And, many of the city’s department’s such as the DPA only have two inspectors for the entire city, as Michelle pointed out. This poses a challenge in addressing solid waste flows into the Tijuana River. Yet, with the right amount of political will and willingness to cooperate binationally, there are many things that can be done.

 

After visiting the Tijuana River Valley and Estuary the DPA voiced interest in finding collaborative opportunities that would be conducive to addressing these challenges. Specifically, binational efforts such as Tijuana River Action Month, a month long series of activities including cleanups, educational workshops and stewardship opportunities to raise public awareness of the need to clean up and restore the Tijuana River Watershed ‘I never thought there was this much trash” said Michelle “we really need to do something about it, I am willing to help in these efforts”