IMPERIAL BEACH, Calif. — A sewage spill in Tijuana this week sent wastewater through the San Diego coastline, in the same area where beaches have already been closed because of contaminated water.
The International Boundary and Water Commission announced wastewater had been flowing through the U.S.-Mexico Border after a private developer damaged a pipeline.
The commission said the spill into the U.S. boundaries has been stopped, but crews are working 18-hour days to address the issue in Mexico.
Areas of the San Diego coastline from the border to Imperial Beach have been closed since December because of high bacteria levels in the water.
As issues arise along the coastline, there are groups working to combat any further problems and make the San Diego coastline more resilient.
Conservationists and experts from the San Diego Audubon Society and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service worked for hours Saturday getting rid of invasive species at Emory Cove and planted native plants, which helps make the coastline stronger.
“It’s pretty devastating, to be honest,” Coral Weaver, conservation coordinator with the San Diego Audubon Society said in regard to sewage spills impacting San Diego’s coast. “It just gives credence to the fact that we need more land and more areas that are dedicated to preservation and restoration so that the whole area can really combat these disasters that we have come to expect.”
“We’re working together partnering with the San Diego Audubon Society to plant natives and also remove the nonnatives to allow for the native plants to get established,” said Carolyn Lieberman, coastal program coordinator with US Fish and Wildlife Service.
“At the Tijuana Estuary, you’re having a similar problem where there’s all kinds of things that are entering the waterway, whether they are invasive species from the north or south side of the border, or they’re toxic substances that are entering the waterways. It’s all affecting the environment and the more native habitat that we have, the stronger and more resilient our native species are going to be to defend themselves against what’s going on in the waterways,” Weaver said.