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Tuesday, Jan. 27, 2009 | Thanks to Reporter Rob Davis for his story on trash in the Tijuana River Valley. Unfortunately, this situation occurs in many watersheds around the state.

For an image that shows a similar situation in Los Angeles County, see this photo. For more details, including what happens in the ocean when this plastic is dispersed, read the full blog.

Of course, there is added complexity for dealing with trash that impacts two communities across an international border. Costs increase for the prevention and management that is needed, as well as the outreach and education required to identify, manage and reduce waste at its source.

The Border Environment Cooperation Commission was originally founded to assist with solid waste issues along the US-Mexico border, but in recent years has invested considerably more in water/wastewater than trash management. Funds come from sources in both the United States and Mexico. This quick overview of BECC projects in development shows very few solid waste projects, and many more for water/wastewater.

One approach for the agencies and nonprofit organizations working in and around the Tijuana River Valley would be to develop a proposal for the BECC to support. This could come from people in either California or Baja California — or both working together.

The project application process is described well here.

Given current federal and state budget shortfalls, there is considerable competition for funding for these projects along the ten border states. Still, it might be worth considering.

Lori Saldaña represents California’s 76th Assembly District.

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