Coastal conservation in Morro Bay
October 8, 2012
The city of Morro Bay has two years to build a new sewage treatment plant, and local authorities are very close to making the wrong decision — against the will of local citizens.
They want to build their new sewage plant near Morro Rock again – one of California’s natural wonders and a popular beach and surfing spot. The outdated facility is also near Morro Bay High School and upwind from three mobile home parks and two hotels. Building on the proposed site will degrade invaluable coastal lands and limit future opportunities to draw more tourism or recreation to the area.
To see a detailed map and to send a letter to the California Coastal Commission (regardless of where you live in California), please click.
Morro Bay residents, including our important farming community, support the preferred alternative recommended by the Coastal Commission staff – that is, to move the treatment plant off the beach and re-build it into a water recycling facility that will provide long-term financial returns to the city. We can conserve our limited freshwater supplies, start adapting to inevitable sea level rise and threats to coastal infrastructure, as well as eliminate a source of pollution in our ocean – so this is a “win/win/win” proposal. Simply replacing an outdated facility in the wrong place is money down the drain – literally and figuratively.
This small community has the chance to set the trend for multi-benefit change in water management. We can stand as an example to others in California, and across the country, in how to get “the most bang for the buck” by building a new state-of-the-art water recycling facility — off the coast where it belongs.
Joe Geever is the Surfrider Foundation Water Programs Manager