Saturday, June 22, 2024

Tijuana River Wastewater Flow Affects Navy Training Operations

“When there is a County water advisory, in-water training evolutions are delayed, moved or canceled to mitigate any potential impact in accordance with our established risk management protocols,” stated Navy Region Southwest media officer Brian O’Rourke.

Once again, the Department of Environmental Health and Quality of San Diego County has extended beach closures north along the shorelines of Imperial Beach, Silver Strand Beach and Coronado Beach because of recent heavy rain.

These closures were issued due to the fact that the heavy rain had caused an excessive flow of the Tijuana River flowing into San Diego County beaches that contains not only sewage but brings in urban runoff. Both the combination sewage and runoff coming from Tijuana can significantly increase bacteria levels in the water that has a high possibility of causing illness. With Coronado being home to the US Naval Special Warfare Command, this has caused changes in training evolutions.

“Naval Special Warfare (NSW) takes safety seriously when planning and conducting any training. NSW adheres to all beach water quality closures and bacterial advisories issued by San Diego County along with additional Navy testing of local waters,” said media officer  Lieutenant Commander Kara Handley. 

“The Department of the Navy protects the health and welfare of all its personnel. Like local citizens who work and swim in local waters, the Navy does have some concern regarding the amount of sewage and debris that pollutes the south San Diego County coastline, causes erosion, damages natural resources and impacts the health and well-being of our community,” stated Navy Region Southwest media officer Brian O’Rourke. “When there is a County water advisory, in-water training evolutions are delayed, moved or canceled to mitigate any potential impact in accordance with our established risk management protocols.”

“To date, the pollution has caused infrequent, short-term impact to training evolutions,” O’Rourke commented. “We recognize conditions may change, and we continue to support federal and local agencies and stakeholders as long-term solutions are developed.”

“The Navy also continues to provide input as a stakeholder to lead agency USEPA in their efforts to prioritize short- and long-term projects to address transboundary border pollution that impacts the Tijuana River and the surrounding communities.”

Official Navy Page from United States of AmericaMC2(SW/AW) Trevor Welsh/U.S. Navy, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons
SAN DIEGO (Aug. 2, 2012) A Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL (BUD/S) student participates in interval swim training in San Diego Bay. The swim is part of the basic orientation portion of the BUD/S training pipeline. Navy SEALs are the maritime component of U.S. special forces and are trained to conduct a variety of operations from the sea, air and land. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Trevor Welsh/Released)

The most recent efforts to combat the wastewater flow coming from the Tijuana River took place in August of this year. The International Boundary and Water Commission (IBWC) (an international organization comprised of a United States and Mexico section “responsible for applying the boundary and water treaties between the two countries and settling differences that arise in their application”along with the US Environmental Protection Agency announced that they will begin the construction of sanitation infrastructure both along the shores of San Diego and Tijuana with the United States and Mexican government contributing a total of approximately $474 Million dollars into the project.



Projects Curbing Tijuana Sewage Flow – and Coronado Beach Closures – Could Begin This Year

Brandon Mariano
Brandon Mariano
Brandon was born in Carrollton, Texas but moved to Southern California at the age of four. After high school, Brandon enlisted in the Marine Corps where he attended recruit training at Marine Corps Recruiting Depot San Diego and was stationed at Camp Pendleton. During his four year enlistment, Brandon worked as Inventory Management Specialist, an Armory custodian, and a Martial Arts instructor.After being discharged, he went straight back into school at Irvine Valley College while also working as a Legal Assistant at Veterans Legal Institute in Santa Ana. Brandon transferred to UC San Diego in 2020 and graduated in 2022 where he majored in Political Science with a focus in International Relations. While at UCSD Brandon worked as a Peer Navigator at the Student Veterans Resource Center and as contributing news writer for the UCSD Guardian. In his free time Brandon likes to read, write, play guitar, go skateboarding, and explore the beautiful city of San Diego.Have a story for The Coronado Times to cover? Send news tips or story ideas to: [email protected]

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