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Laguna Beach

 Volume 12, Issue 95  |  November 27, 2020


Council approves Laguna Bluebelt Coalition’s project to install water bottle refilling station

In 30 years, there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish, according to science projections, with estimates of as much as 11 million tons of plastic entering the ocean each year.

To address plastic pollution, the Laguna Bluebelt Coalition advanced a project brought forth by the City of Laguna Beach’s Environmental & Sustainability Committee and local nonprofit groups to install a water bottle refilling station at Main Beach to reduce use of plastic water bottles now polluting popular local beaches and the City’s Marine Protected Areas (MPAs).

Jinger Wallace, co-founder of the Laguna Bluebelt Coalition, says, “Plastic pollution in the ocean is a global threat requiring local solutions. The Laguna Bluebelt seeks to lead by example and encourage the City and other communities to take measurable steps now to reduce pollution of the ocean we love.”

Council approves trash

Click on photo for a larger image

Courtesy of PMMC

Trash collected at Aliso Creek Beach during a huge 2019 coastal cleanup conducted by Pacific Marine Mammal Center and Western Digital 

Spearheaded by Anne Girtz and Mayor Pro Tem Steve Dicterow, members of the Environmental & Sustainability Committee, the water bottle refilling station will measurably reduce the use of plastic bottles and help launch similar stations throughout town for residents and six million annual visitors. The Laguna Bluebelt Coalition successfully brought together local groups and individuals to gather start-up funding and show, once again, “working together works.”

“This project is a great example of thinking globally and acting locally,” said Mayor Pro Dicterow in introducing the project before gaining unanimous support from Council members and staff.

“Many of Laguna’s water fountains are old and simply need to be replaced. This is an opportune time to assess which of our beaches have the heaviest pedestrian traffic and install these environmentally friendly, refillable bottle fountains in place of them,” says Wallace. “Refill stations are becoming more common throughout California as awareness of plastic pollution grows. This project can inspire us to find more ways to do our part to protect the ocean here in Laguna too.”

Council approves drinking fountain

Click on photo for a larger image

Photo by Charlotte Masarik

Old water fountain at Main Beach children’s playground 

The Laguna Bluebelt Coalition initially contributed $1,500 to launch the fundraising effort and invited local groups to contribute. Local nonprofits generously contributed a substantial part of the $5,000 cost and the City will install and maintain the refilling station. 

Project sponsors gathered by Charlotte Masarik, Anne Girtz, and Wallace include the Pacific Marine Mammal Center, Laguna Greenbelt Inc., Laguna Beach Garden Club, Barbara MacGillivray of One World One Ocean, Laguna Beach County Water District, and Waste Management. Marine Safety Chief Kevin Snow and Marine Protection Officer Porter Hogan and were instrumental in navigating Staff coordination and gaining unanimous City Council support. 

For more information about Laguna Bluebelt Coalition, go to www.lagunabluebelt.org.

 

Shaena Stabler is the Owner, Publisher & Editor.

Dianne Russell is our Associate Editor & Writer.

Michael Sterling is our Webmaster & Designer.

Mary Hurlbut and Scott Brashier are our photographers.

Alexis Amaradio, Barbara Diamond, Dennis McTighe, Diane Armitage, Marrie Stone, Maggi Henrikson, Samantha Washer, Stacia Stabler and Suzie Harrison are our writers and/or columnists.

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