Congressman Scott Peters

Representing the 52nd District of California

Environment & Sustainability

May 15, 2014
Op-Eds

University City Newsletter - May 2014 http://www.universitycitynews.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/May-2014-Newsletter-UCCA.pdf

Environmental and Sustainability

April 22nd was Earth Day, a time for us to reflect on what we are doing to make our planet a more sustainable and liveable place. The work we've done in San Diego to make our oceanfront cleaner and safer can be a model for other communities across the country. A healthy ocean is vital to our economy and well-being by sustaining local tourism and fisheries. In Congress I am focused on the effects of climate change including ocean acidification and sea-level rise, both of which are threats to San Diego.

In 1999 I participated in my first beach cleanup with I Love A Clean San Diego and the San Diego Surfrider Foundation. In 2000, when I was first elected to the San Diego City Council, the city averaged one sewer spill into the ocean a day. These spills closed our beaches to residents and tourists alike. San Diego was infamous for its beach closures at the time. By the end of my eight-year service, we had reduced the occurrence of sewer spills by 80 percent.

Locally, the San Diego Foundation, UC San Diego's Environment and Sustainability Initiative and the Scripps Institute of Oceanography teamed up to look at how a changing climate would impact our region. This collaborative effort to identifying the problem and crafting innovative solutions is the hallmark of our region and will be necessary to preparing our communities for the future impacts of climate change and extreme weather.