Let’s Stop Ocean Pollution

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This letter was also sent to the City Council.

In a recent survey, 87% of Laguna Beach respondents indicated “ocean health” as their Number 1 priority.

Ocean acidification circulates throughout Southern California’s “Gulf of Santa Catalina” – an area between land and the chain of offshore islands.

Coastal waters have a long residency time and circulates pollution and harmful algal blooms (HABs) throughout the area.

As we continue to discharge a combined 10 million gallons per day just 1.2 miles off of Laguna, we add significantly to the nutrient loading feeding HABs. More recycled water locally can reduce and eliminate these harmful discharges of secondary sewage transporting viruses, pathogens and plastic microbeads from our toothpaste and cosmetics to Laguna’s Marine Protected Areas.

While eliminating our discharges may not completely eliminate local ocean acidification, our efforts can lead the way for others to follow. Just as one plastic bag or cigarette butt carelessly tossed into the ocean is not a disaster, throwing away hundreds and even millions of plastic bags and cigarette butts will eventually add up to create severe problems along the coast. In Southern California hundreds of millions of gallons of sewage water and urban runoff is mindlessly discharged every day amounting to billions of gallons of wastewater discharged each year.

Bioaccumulation of pollutants in deep underwater canyons like those off of Laguna, enter the marine life food chain and feed hyper growth of HABs according to research by the Southern California Coastal Waters Research Project (SCCWRP) in Costa Mesa. Daily ocean upwelling transports the sewage pollution plume back to shore.

Swim surveys 400 yards offshore reveal an upper plume of warm green water six feet above the struggling kelp canopy.

Laguna Beach needs smart science from oceanographers and marine experts to better understand our City’s contribution to ocean pollution. Sustainable solutions will redirect our damaging ocean discharges to beneficial reuse of wasted wastewater as a new reliable source for local irrigation water and wildfire prevention/suppression.

Few, if any, issues are more important to Laguna than the health of the ocean. Let’s stop carelessly polluting our ocean. As always, I can assist in networking with smart scientists, engineers and companies willing and able to implement sustainable solutions to ocean pollution. Below is the press release and full text of the new law.

Thanks for educating yourself on this important challenge to our community and precious ocean.


Mike Beanan, Laguna Beach

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