Protecting Our Bay
County Scoop: September 2019
By Zach Friend, County Supervisor
It’s hard to imagine something more interconnected to our county than the Monterey Bay. Over the last few decades our local community has worked on preservation efforts that stopped offshore drilling efforts, ensured the creation of the Sanctuary and now are working to reduce plastic waste.
Plastic waste, in particular single-use plastics, are particularly problematic for our local marine ecosystem. Recently a joint study by the Monterey Bay Aquarium and the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute found significant amounts of micro plastic particles from the ocean surface to the seafloor.
These plastics threaten marine life and the overall marine ecosystem. Our County has led on environmental efforts in the past and the reduction of single-use plastics are no different. From leading on the single-use plastic bag ban (which became state law), plastic and polystyrene to-go containers to now the elimination of single-use plastic toiletries in the hotel industry (which is appearing that it will become state law as well) the County has set the stage for important, yet practical, environmental changes.
With the collapse of the global recycling market relying just on recycling alone won’t be enough. As a result, the Board of Supervisors recently moved to reduce single-use plastics even more. Here is a list of some of the proposals the Board is working on implementing in the coming months.
According to the Monterey Bay Aquarium, without changes to our current habits the amount of plastic in the ocean will double in the next six years. The equivalent of a truckload of plastic is dumped into our oceans every minute. So we know more needs to be done. With your partnership our community will continue to show the way.
As always, I appreciate hearing your thoughts. Feel free to contact me at 454-2200 or visit me during my open office hours in Aptos, La Selva, Corralitos and Watsonville.