UN starts campaign to clean beaches in Tijuana

Border municipalities put into effect strategy to recollect garbage
Photo: Astrid Rivera/EL UNIVERSAL
Astrid Rivera
Tijuana, B.C.
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In one of the most polluted beaches in Mexico, the United Nations Environment Programme (UN Environment) started a campaign to clean the seas, inviting federal and state governments to clean the country's beaches, looking for the preservation of marine ecosystems.

Cigarette butts, plastic bottles, plates and junk food wrapping were the main remnants found by more than 130 volunteers who participated in the UN campaign “Clean Seas,” an action that is expected to reach other beaches in Mexico.

By participating in the commemorative event of the World Environment Day, Alfonso Blancafort Camarena, Delegate of the Secretariat of Environment and Natural Resources (SEMARNAT), said that sea protection is one of the most relevant commitments of the Mexican government and he remarked the necessity to reinforce the coordination with municipal and state governments to purify wastewaters which most of the time are discharged on the seas.

On the act carried out in the coastal area of Playas de Tijuana, he added that besides the pollution of wastewater, depositing urban garbage in creeks or rivers represents a risk not only to the population but also to the protection of marine ecosystems, since during the rainy season that garbage is dragged to the sea.
“The care and protection of our seas are a responsibility everybody shares,” he stated.

Serge Dedina, mayor of Imperial Beach, United States, a city next to Tijuana, asserted that they will continue collaborating with Mexico as “friends” in order to find joint solutions to combat ocean contamination, along with environmental protection. He lamented that days ago President Donald Trump announced the U.S. withdrawal from the Paris Agreement, an action he considered as a “shame.”

Dolores Barrientos Alemán, representative in Mexico of the UN Environment, said that marine pollution is one of the problems faced at a global level, so she urged people to consider the importance of cleaning the seas and that each action that they do in the cities makes an impact, despite the distance with the marine ecosystems.

As the authorities uttered their discourse, discontent people raised signs which read: “Corrupt and ecocidal government,” “Ensenada, Baja California polluted beach,” and “No to water privatization in Baja California.”

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