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Weekly Round Up - Poseidon Updates, Peace Paddle, San Onofre Nuclear Plant & More!

Welcome to another week of ocean updates. Here’s your weekly round up of the latest coastal news. 

Newsom pushes private desalination plant over local and environmental opposition 

Costly, harmful, dangerous are just some of the adjectives used by opponents to describe desalination plants. These plants are used to convert seawater into fresh drinking water, and while they do allow arid regions to increase their water supply, there are some significant setbacks to constructing one of these plants. In Southern California a proposed desalination plant has been on the table for over 21 years, however after a recent political push, the Poseidon desalination plant is closer than ever to coming to fruition. 

We’ve been following the proposed Poseidon desalination plant progress closely.  Top officials are still pushing for its authorization, despite pushback from environmentalists and locals. Governor Newsom has campaigned for the diversification of California’s water supply to ensure water security for the drought- prone state, however the Posiedon plant has numerous downsides.  The proposed plant is expensive, one billion dollars to be exact, and requires a large amount of energy. The placement of the plant is important too, as it will sit next to Highway 1 just feet away from the ocean with little to no protection against rising sea levels. The company has still yet to find a secure buyer for the 50 million gallons of water per day that the plant would produce. Still, members of the Poseidon company are lobbying hard to get the project underway before all necessary permits are approved.

Black sand peace paddle

Last Sunday, in response to a disgusting incident of racism in LA county, hundreds of surfers gathered together (safely) in solidarity to make it known that racist aggression has absolutely no place in our lineups or in our communities. There is a movement of change beginning in the LA surf scene led by the Black community to combat a culture of localism aggression, exclusion, toxic masculinity and racism. As a community of ocean lovers who understand that the beach belongs to everyone, we need to do our best to ensure that everyone can safely and freely enjoy the ocean.

Lawsuit looks to block dismantlement of Southern California’s San Onofre Nuclear Plant

The San Onofre nuclear plant is a state landmark for Southern California natives, sitting prominently along Highway 1. After the decommissioning of the plant in 2013, issues of public health and safety have been raised with the dismantlement of the San Onofre nuclear plant, which is currently underway. The demolition is being performed by Southern California Edison, the majority owner of the plant. The California Coastal commission approved Edison’s lead role on the project 9-0. The Samuel Lawrence Foundation has filed a lawsuit with the Los Angeles County Superior Court, stating that the “Coastal Commission really didn't do what they are supposed to do as an agency to protect the public interest, to protect the environment and the coast," Chelsi Sparti, Samuel Lawrence Foundation associate director.

Coastal Commission approves oyster shoreline project near Chula Vista 

Surfrider has consistently advocated for more proactive and safer climate change mitigation practices along the California coast. Living shoreline projects are among our top tools in combating climate change smartly and directly. Starting early this spring, a native oyster living shoreline pilot project and study will begin near the Chula Vista bay front. The project’s goal is to attract and establish native oyster populations while also mitigating the effects of future sea level rise on the shoreline. Oyster reef ball elements will be placed near the bay front and hopefully establish a flourishing oyster colony. Living shoreline projects are extremely useful in the mitigation of climate change related impacts as well as improvement in local water quality. We're excited to see the results of the study and its impacts on future sea level rise planning efforts.