Surfrider Foundation fights plans for Tijuana River Valley campground

Posted at 12:31 PM, Jul 03, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-03 15:31:16-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - The Surfrider Foundation San Diego, along with several local environmentalist groups called on the San Diego County Board of Supervisors Tuesday to stop their plans of constructing a campground in the Tijuana River Valley.

The Board approved about $4 million in its fiscal year 18/19 budget to build the campground in the summer of 2019.

The Surfrider Foundation has spent the last decade trying to stop cross-border contamination and keep local beaches clean, but they say the Tijuana River Valley is still not safe enough for families to vacation.

“This area is beautiful, we would love to have a campground here, but we need to solve this problem first,” said Bethany Case with the Surfrider Foundation. She says the area is just too dirty for a campground anytime soon.

“If you’re driving through the sewage, you’re getting that on your car, you’re bringing that to your campsite,” said Case. “Where are you going to go to the beach if you’re camping down by the beach? You’re going to go to water that is contaminated, so it just doesn’t make sense.”

The group even recently filed an intent to sue the United States Section of the International Boundary and Water Commission for violations of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act and what they called a failure to keep raw sewage from Mexico out of the Tijuana River Valley.

Now they’re asking the Board of Supervisors to address issues of repeated dumping of sewage, chemical waste and plastic pollution that pose safety risks for San Diegans and visitors, before moving forward with their plans for a campsite.

County Supervisor, Greg Cox, has pushed for years to bring affordable campsites to San Diego.

In a statement to 10News, Cox said, “We know this situation has been difficult for the community and I’m as frustrated as they are about this problem. That’s why we are working on multiple fronts with state and federal officials to find solutions to this recurring problem. Right now, we are conducting a comprehensive study that would address impacts caused by cross-border flows of sewage, as well as trash and sediment, and outline short and long-term solutions and costs.”

He also went on to say, “we are conducting an environmental review to ensure the safety of our park visitors. If our technical studies find that this is not a suitable location for a campground, then we will look for other appropriate sites.”

The Surfrider Foundation is asking community members interested in joining their fight to sign their action alert.