letter to Star on Ventura EBM
Cooperation under way
January 16, 2009
Re: your Jan. 15 article, "Report urges cooperation to protect coastal
This article about the Joint Ocean Commission Initiative report, "One
Coast, One Future," correctly highlights fragmented governance as one
of the primary threats to our coasts and ocean.
This report also highlights Ventura as one of the West Coast
communities actively working to put integrated, ecosystem-based
approaches into practice in the management of ocean and coastal
resources they depend on for high quality of life and a vibrant
In early 2008, the Ventura chapter of the Surfrider Foundation
published, "Solving the Urban Runoff Problem - A Vision for the City
of Ventura." In this document, we outlined a strategy for retrofit of
the storm drain infrastructure in Ventura to improve coastal water
quality and make better use of our limited rainfall. In July, the city
of Ventura passed a "green streets" ordinance as a first step in
implementing this plan. This is one part of the Surfrider Foundation's
integrated strategy for the restoration of the Ventura River
watershed, which also includes beach restoration at Surfers' Point and
removal of Matilija Dam.
Each of these projects requires coordinating the multiple
jurisdictions of local, state and federal government agencies and
engaging the affected communities -- no easy task in a society with so
many competing interests. However, despite state budget woes, there is
now a great opportunity to construct these "green infrastructure"
projects with the federal economic stimulus package.
Restoring the function of our coastal ecosystems by implementing
"ecosystem-based management" in Ventura will serve as a real world
demonstration of the principles outlined in the Joint Ocean Commission
report. Support for these projects is one way our elected officials
can provide critical leadership for securing the health of coastal
ecosystems and economies.
More information on the Ventura ecosystem project may be found at http://venturaecosystem.blogspot.com/
-- Paul Jenkin, Ventura