Richard Bloom, SM City Councilman,
Bobby Shriver, SM City Councilman
Special to the Mirror
Measure V presents Santa Monica voters with an opportunity to make good on our longstanding commitment to clean up Santa Monica Bay.
It’s simple: A Yes vote on Measure V is a Yes vote for cleaning up Santa Monica Bay.
Not that Santa Monica can do this alone. We cannot. Measure V represents our fair share. Los Angeles is doing its fair share: they’ve already passed a $500 million funding plan of their own.
As stewards of the Bay, we must lead by example, just as we have on many environmental challenges. Those leadership efforts, along with those of environmental organizations like Heal the Bay, have made very significant improvements in the quality of our beaches and bay. For example, the Hyperion Sewage Treatment facility has been forced to clean up and meet very high ocean discharge standards.
Now comes the much more difficult challenge of cleaning up the urban runoff that enters the Bay through our storm drains.
That is what Measure V is all about.
The good news is that we know what we must do, and we know how to do it. After lengthy public and expert review, the City of Santa Monica adopted a comprehensive roadmap for our city. The plan was developed with the input and guidance of regional experts, including scientists from Heal the Bay, Santa Monica Baykeeper, UCLA and our own Sustainable City Task Force. It includes significant new investments in our storm drain system and our stormwater runoff management. It allocates funds to improve flood control, augment our drinking water supply and to reuse treated runoff to irrigate the city’s parks and open spaces.
Santa Monica is a regional and national leader in the fight against ocean pollution. This is a task we know how to do right.
Now it is up to the voters.
If approved by 2/3 vote, Measure V will provide the resources to implement our plan for reducing and cleaning polluted urban runoff, so that it no longer carries high levels of bacteria, toxics, fecal matter, heavy metals and other contaminants to our bay.
We’re in this together. The average homeowner will pay $7 per month and renters will pay an average of about $2 per month. Commercial properties pay too: their bill will be proportionate to their size and the nature of the use on the parcel.
Rainstorms are natural. But, until we fix our storm drain system, rainstorms will continue to make Santa Monica’s beautiful beaches look like trash dumps and will continue to make the beaches in front of storm drains teem with fecal bacteria, posing a health risk to our children and to us. We all want to be able to swim in the ocean with our families without getting sick! With the Santa Monica plan and the resources from Measure V, we will stop most of these pollutants from reaching the Bay.
Our community has a special relationship with the ocean. It is one of the main reasons we love to live here. Santa Monica Bay is the economic engine for the community and gives our community both heart and soul.
Let’s heal our bay – Yes on Measure V.