Friday, May 24, 2024

Coronado State of Emergency Needed for Tijuana Sewage Crisis

Letters to the Editor submitted to The Coronado Times are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the publisher, editors or writers of this publication. Submit letters to [email protected].

Submitted by Dan’l Steward

The City of Coronado declared a State of Emergency due to flooding following the storm of January 22, 2024. Juxtapose this to the glaring lack of any emergency declarations by the City despite

[1] 83% Coronado beach closures in 2023 and every day thus far in 2024 and

[2] a history of ocean contamination emanating from the Tijuana River dating back 4+ decades.

Add to this the recent realization that contamination is limited neither to sewage nor to the ocean waters; toxic chemical and aerosol contamination are further threats to the citizens of SOCAL.

The City of San Diego, Port of San Diego, County of San Diego, and Imperial Beach have all declared states of emergency due to the TJ River effluent. Perhaps second only to IB, Coronado is the city most affected
 yet its voice is silent. Consider:

  • Coronado Beach is no longer one of the top 10 beaches in the US.
  • Designation of the Tijuana River as one of the top ten most endangered rivers in the US (U.S. 2024 edition of American Rivers‘ annual “America’s Most Endangered Rivers” report).
  • Military training — and by extension US military readiness — is increasingly impacted by the sewage and other contaminants.
  • Elected officials up through US Congress persons have publicly acknowledged and taken action to address the problem.
  • Coronado’s businesses, property values, and general welfare are — and will be — increasingly and negatively impacted.

Coronado is not the beach town on Amity Island depicted in the movie “JAWS.” Yet, seemingly, our city leadership is similarly loath to publicly acknowledge a comparable equivalent threat (despite Councilman Duncan introducing a proposal to issue a statement). Is it not (past) time for our city council to unanimously lend their voices and signatures to a statement of concern by issuing an unequivocal State of Emergency? Yes, a declaration might have a near-term fiscal impact. Judging from the number of tourists currently on our beaches, the sewage issue already has. Silence could easily result in far greater and longer-term impacts if the situation is not addressed head-on now.

Dan’l Steward



Managing Editor
Managing Editor
Originally from upstate New York, Dani Schwartz has lived in Coronado since 1996. She is happy to call Coronado home and to have raised her children here. In her free time she enjoys reading, exercising, trying new restaurants, and just walking her dog around the "island." Have news to share? Send tips or story ideas to: [email protected]

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