Thursday, November 15, 2007

Ventura's Green Initiative

Long way to green

Ventura's Green Initiative is a great step in the right direction and I think one that most citizens of Ventura support. It is clear that being "green" is becoming a popular trend, and I applaud the city for taking a step in this direction.

But becoming a truly "green" city will take much more than recycling or going solar. We need to begin planning for the future, to update our aging infrastructure to mitigate the environmental impacts of our city. Nowhere is this more evident than how we manage and use water.

The city faces pressure on all fronts — water supply, wastewater and storm water. For example, the Ventura River faces increased pressure from overextraction of water, our wastewater treatment plant is the last estuary discharge in the state and our beaches have been listed as impaired by trash and bacteria.

Creative solutions exist to integrate these municipal responsibilities for a sustainable future. The Surfrider Foundation requests that the city implement a meaningful public dialogue in order to generate new ideas and promote partnerships. We need to formulate a "sustainability plan" to provide the road map to where we need to go, to ensure that we do not miss opportunities as redevelopment occurs. And although implementing such a plan will take decades, state and federal grants are available now for water-related projects, and opportunities exist to begin the urban-renewal process now.

We look forward to working as a community for a sustainable future.

Paul Jenkin, Ventura (The writer is with the Ventura County chapter of the Surfrider Foundation. — Editor)

venturacountystar 2007/nov/14/ letters