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The Monterey Coastkeeper

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					The Monterey Coastkeeper:
A Program of The Otter Project
Sea otters are suffering from high levels of chemical contaminants including DDT (legacy pesticide), PCB
(legacy lubricant and insulating liquid), and PBDE (modern flame retardants).
If we ever hope to achieve full recovery of the sea otter population we will need to slow the flow of these
chemical pollutants from land to sea.

Monterey Coastkeeper supports The Otter Project by being actively engaged in inland water quality issues.
Sea otters don’t pollute the ocean, people on land do. Monterey Coastkeeper gives us greater leverage to
work on inland issues that impact the health of the ocean.

According to the Pew Oceans Commission, “Marine-protection strategies cannot stop with site-level
practices at the water’s edge. They must reach inland to incorporate regional and neighborhood land-use
reforms. These reforms should be imbedded in the comprehensive plans and zoning ordinances of coastal
cities, towns, and counties.”

Monterey Coastkeeper has both urban and agricultural programs meant to complement and bolster existing
regulatory efforts. Monterey Coastkeeper cannot enforce the law, but it can be a critical watchdog.

Urban Runoff Planning and Review
Urban runoff, or storm water, is the largest source of ocean pollution. Cities are required to develop plans
to mitigate the impacts of urban runoff. Urban runoff plans include measures to contain oils and metals
from roadways and cars, sediment from grading activities, chemicals from swimming pools, detergents
from washing cars, pesticides from landscaping, and sewage waste from leaking sewage laterals or illegal
bypasses. Cities are required to educate the public about how their storm drain system most often connects
directly to the local streams or ocean. Urban runoff plans can also drive development standards, requiring
pervious pavements, new designs for streets and sidewalks, and open space for storm water percolation.

Success! Salinas Development Standards
In early September the Central Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board approved development
standards for the City of Salinas. Salinas is the largest city on the Central Coast and is surrounded by
agricultural lands prime for development. Salinas recently annexed land for 12,000 new homes.

For two years the City has balked at new water quality protective development standards and has stalled on
fulfilling the requirements of its 2005 pollution discharge permit. Monterey Coastkeeper, with the help of
Dan Cloak, a leading urban runoff consultant, reviewed draft urban design standards and provided the
Regional Water Quality Control Board with extensive revisions. The Regional Board approved the permit
with 80-percent of the Monterey Coastkeeper changes as “required revisions.” New development in Salinas
will now incorporate “Smart Growth” and standards more protective of water and air quality.

Progress! Santa Cruz Region Urban Runoff Plans Reviewed
Monterey Coastkeeper has completed preliminary review of the urban runoff plans for five Santa Cruz
region communities. Coastkeeper is cooperatively working with the communities and local environmental
organizations in advance of the formal agency approval process slated for March 2009.

Agricultural Runoff Monitoring
The Central Coast is a hub of agricultural activity with approximately 600,000 acres devoted to irrigated
farmland. When properly managed, runoff into public waters from irrigated agriculture is eliminated. When
not properly managed, runoff carries nutrients, pesticides, and legacy chemicals (DDT) to our rivers and
oceans. Our sea otters are carrying huge loads of toxic chemicals washed from farms.

In August, Monterey Coastkeeper kicked off a large program designed to monitor runoff from farms.
Samples will be collected by our trained water quality program manager, Andy Hess, and sent to certified
labs for testing. Results will be discussed with growers and farm owners. Growers enrolled in programs to
reduce farm runoff will be encouraged. Farmers not enrolled in progressive programs will be asked to make
changes in their farming practices.

Our program is meant to assist farmers reach clean water standards. In the circumstance that a grower is
found to be polluting our public water, and refuses to participate in programs to reduce pollution, water
quality monitoring results will be passed on to regulating agencies for enforcement.


How to Contact Us
Monterey Coastkeeper®
475 Washington Street, Suite A
Monterey, CA 93940
831.646.8839
FAX 831.646.8843
Report Polluters: 831.646.8840
www.montereycoastkeeper.org

				
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