Ke Ao Maoli
For the sake of our children and grandchildren, ones born and yet to be, we as men and women must take responsibility and accountability for the rapid decline of the health of our oceans. By finding a common denominator amongst us and focusing on that instead of our differences, we could begin to feel the joy of agape love, and as individuals make a difference in the world we now are living in.
If we consider our ocean as a sick patient that is in need of a 'Care Plan' , and come together as a people with a common goal of unselfishly sharing our resources, knowledge and abilities to genuinely care for our living oceans, we could than set the stage for our future generations to learn and not repeat the same errors of past generations. The issues that we face are global ones and require a global perspective. We must not let our pride divide us, but allow our love for each other to shine through our actions. One such action is the recognition of the rights of indigenous peoples to be able to prosper in the world we live in. One way for that to occur is for nations all over the world to adapt the UNCLOS Law of the Sea, sharing the economic benefits of the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) with the local indigenous peoples. This action could lead to an economically sustainable process that would generate financial benefits for all parties involved based on the success of programs that are implemented for ocean health.
The western states of Washington, Oregon and California have recently formed a West Coast Governors Alliance (WCGA) via the individual states Ocean Protection Councils (OPC). Below is a comment that i recently sent them in response to public input request.
..... may God bless you and your loved ones with health,peace and joy
in Jesus' name i pray.
Comment on July 5, 2012 Scoping Outline
CAT Climate Adaptation Strategy
First and foremost thank you for the opportunity to comment on the Draft 2012 CAT Climate Change Strategy.
In order to take proactive steps in addressing Climate Change in California’s coastal and inland areas, some of the serious obstacles in the administrative and enforcement sectors must be taken into account. An agency that I believe should be included with the 16 state agencies that make up CO-CAT is the California State Attorney Generals Office.
The Attorney Generals Office must have authority to investigate personnel that are in positions of Public Trust and not be blindly obligated to represent violators whose actions have compromised that trust. In addition, the lack of any meaningful whistleblower protection policy for individuals employed in the public sector stifles the ability for state oversight agencies to take proper action concerning conditions that compromise public health and safety.
In order for the California Ocean Protection Council (OPC) to effectively protect our coastal waters, authority must be given regarding ocean easements. These include the Once-Through Cooling (OTC) easements and their associated outfalls along with other dedicated ocean outfall easements, for example, Wastewater Treatment Plant outfalls. By working collaboratively with other state and federal agencies and in support of the United Nations Law of the Sea Convention, the state agencies that comprise CO-CAT and the associated Tribal entities have an unprecedented opportunity to benefit from the latest developments regarding this international milestone. Upon ratification, California is set to have the largest economic potential in the United States via the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) and the associated territorial waters as defined by UNCLOS. The issues and concerns regarding coastal ocean easements are critical, especially Wastewater Treatment Plant outfall easements which continually have been overburden due to the revolving door policy and caviler actions by regulatory agencies regarding adherence to the Clean Water Act and the issuance of waivers. A clear example of this abuse could be seen in the way the Central Coast Regional Water Quality Control Boards (CCRWQCB) has for decades allowed Morro Bay / Cayucos Sanitary District Wastewater Treatment Plant (MB/CSD WWTP) to operate with a 301(h) waiver. The need to eliminate partially treated sewage from being deposited into our coastline could not be overstated.
Another area of environmental concern is the piggy-backing of Desalination Plants to OTC inlets. First and foremost when addressing OTC inlets and omitting discussion regarding the associated outfall, can be compared to cooking one sided hotcakes or studying water by fragmenting the discussion into an analysis of hydrogen and oxygen.
This is an area where the OPC-SAT team could weigh in on regarding the environmental risks involved in using ocean easements for drinking water production and the associated carbon footprint from energy consumption. At the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) 1st Water Quality, Drought, Human Health & Engineering Conference that was held in the Desert Research Institute, Las Vegas, Nevada in October 2006, several researchers presented technologies that showed promise in the ability to efficiently, economically and environmentally produce drinking water from desalination process.
The need for infrastructure investment in California has become a major issue of public concern. Recently the University of Davis in California released a report regarding nitrate contamination in California’s groundwater and drinking water aquifers. The report primarily focused on agriculture use of organic and synthetic fertilizers and excess nitrates in groundwater. Although the report did look at nitrate contamination in groundwater from wastewater plants (WWTP) and septic systems, due to the fact that wastewater data is not digitalized in the state, the report could not accurately estimate the effects human related nitrate contamination. In earthquake prone California, sewer collection and conveyance systems are susceptible to liquefaction damage. The amount of sewage that is exfiltrating from the sewer collections infrastructure and never reaching the WWTP is significant. The need to address this issue in a synchronous and collaborative manner is paramount. With California being the most populous state the effects of a dilapidated sewer collection and conveyance system is critical to our public health.
The challenges that lie ahead for the citizens of California, CO-CAT and the WCGA are great. Proactive and tangible progress in adapting to climate change must be in a form that address not only environmental and public health issues but must transcend into the social-economic benefits of sustainable job creation.
Our faith does not lie in the agencies that we create, but is rooted in events that are validated by the beneficial uses to be enjoyed by our grandchildren and generations yet to come.
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