While we are most appreciative of the attention paid to the Environmental Health Coalition “Clean Bay Campaign” in the article “Environmentalist Searches for a Safe Harbor” (March 5), a few points deserve clarification.
The article may give the impression that our efforts to protect San Diego Bay are just getting under way, or are confined to the efforts of one individual. In fact, the Clean Bay Campaign was launched in mid-1987 and has succeeded already in some bay protection actions and policy changes through the work of volunteer leaders and staff both in the Environmental Health Coalition and other agencies.
We are very fortunate to begin the next stage of our campaign to expand public understanding and participation in the campaign on a solid foundation of research and involvement in policy measures and the increasing recognition by our elected representatives and public agencies of the importance and urgency of this issue.
The challenge ahead is to forge a consensus among the diverse bay users, agencies and jurisdictions to share in the cleanup, restoration and protection of this major multi-use water resource and to enlist the enthusiastic support of the people of the San Diego region.
While some businesses that have polluted the bay or its tributaries have not been responsive, others, such as several of the boatyards in Commercial Basin, are moving ahead with cleanup and prevention programs. As just one example of the spirit of cooperation which will be essential to our success, the “chartered” boat used for our tour of bay “hot spots” was actually provided by Coastline Yachts of Shelter Island. Participants in the tour included elected officials’ staff and representatives of other organizations such as Sierra Club and Bay Users Group. We hope to take additional tours of the bay with other interested parties in the near future.
The Clean Bay Campaign is far more than one individual’s personal quest; it is an opportunity for everyone concerned about this unique and living resource to join in and make a statement of regional pride within the next few years. It’s our bay, let’s not waste it.
Special projects director
Environmental Health Coalition