OBceans Urged to Push San Diego into Joining Lawsuit Against Big Polluters

by on September 28, 2017 · 0 comments

in Ocean Beach

Serge Dedina. Photo by South OB Girl

Imperial Beach Mayor Serge Dedina Speaks at OB Town Council Forum on Pollution

At the Ocean Beach Town Council meeting on Wednesday, September 27, Serge Dedina, the mayor of Imperial Beach, urged those in attendance to pressure the City of San Diego to join the lawsuit that Imperial Beach is part against big polluters.

Dedina, formerly an environmental attorney, has shepherded his city into being part of a suit against “36 of the world’s largest polluters”, which was begun by the northern California counties of San Mateo and Marin and is being joined by other cities, like Monterey and Santa Cruz.

The lawsuit challenges 37 global oil, gas and coal companies, with names like Exxon Mobil, Shell, and Chevron. The suit claims the companies are directly responsible for the climate change some coastal cities are experiencing. “We are working with a whole group of scientists that have measured their carbon inputs in the environment,” Dedina said.

He said he’s leading his town through a process of mitigation, adaptation, and preservation of eco-systems as it deals with sea level rise. They’re doing a study on the impact of sea level rise on his city – a small city of 28,000 people surrounded by water or wetlands on 3 sides.

“The results [of the study] are shocking,” Dedina explained, with an estimated 90% of his city being significantly impacted over the next 50 years. “The best option,” he said is “coastal retreat.” He added, “we’re not defending housing falling into the ocean,” and they’re planning on moving the shoreline one block inland.  “No more filling in wetlands,” he said. Dedina also claimed San Diego Bay recently has seen “the biggest King tides” in years.

“California is the place for sea level rise now,” and it’s important for the state and its coastal cities to identify  measures to take immediately.

“The City of San Diego is not on board” with the lawsuit, Dedina said, and needs to be. He urged people to contact their city representatives and apply political pressure and get more than a discussion going by having the city join the lawsuit. San Diego, he said, needs to start by doing a sea level rise impact analysis.

And Ocean Beach is a good place from which to apply pressure, he said, impressed with the town, as he described the OB meeting process as the “speed-dating of politics” having sat through most of it.


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