Public Trust Alliance News

November 7, 2010

San Diego Waterfront Development

Filed under: Protecting Public Access — Mike Warburton @ 6:45 pm

The Port of San Diego has proposed permanent hosting of cruise ships and other uses on the North Embarcadero that make promised publicly accessible park areas impossible and which will create unmanageable traffic congestion.  The Port is now accepting Scoping Comments for an Environmental Impact Report on Planning Amendments for public approval of Port Commission plans.  The Public Trust Alliance will participate to ensure that public values, such as historic harbor views and meaningful public access are protected and that inappropriate privatization or walling off of the public waterfront is resisted.

Monterey Peninsula Regional Water Project

Filed under: Infrastructure in the Public Interest,Water — Mike Warburton @ 5:57 pm

Monterey Peninsula Cities cannot continue to dry up the Carmel River to satisfy their water demands.  A regional water supply project including a desalination plant in the coastal salt water intrusion zone is feasible and can be operated in the long term public interest.  Oral arguments before the California Public Utilities Commission will start Wednesday in the approval process for the agreements between agencies and companies that will make the project possible.  The Public Trust Alliance will be there to ensure that long term public trust interests are adequately protected.

Water Board Action on Stream Flows

Filed under: Instream Flows,Water — Mike Warburton @ 2:36 pm

If California is going to have rivers or streams, water must flow in the beds.  It can’t all be diverted for offstream use.  The timing, quantity and quality of stream flows is regulated for the public by the State Water Resources Control Board.  This week, public comments are due on the Board’s suggested priorities and budget for instream flow studies.  It is heartening to know the Board is taking this task seriously and that it recognizes that actual resources will be required to create and collect new information.  The problem is, it appears as if this new information may be seen as a sort of new baseline for undertaking a “new” task:  developing instream flow objectives.  What we really need to ensure is that the Board incorporates any new data with historical experience as it continues to protect an ecologically viable water resource system for future generations.  The Public Trust Alliance will emphasize how important it is to assemble flow data in historical context, with respect to a changing series of human diversions, some legal and some illegal.

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