U.S./Mexico Border Pollution Correspondence


December 13, 2023

As a follow up to the October 11, 2023 informational item on the need for urgent action to address the transboundary pollution crisis in the U.S./Mexico border region, the Commission voted to send calls to action to President Biden, Governor Newson and Secretary of State Blinken. 

With nearly 700 consecutive days of beach closures due to the ongoing influx of sewage, industrial discharges, and trash from the Tijuana River, the communities of South San Diego County are bearing the brunt of this environmental disaster. Pollution in the Tijuana River remains one of the most egregious environmental justice issues in California.

Considering the overwhelming community interest and support for our state government to weigh in on this issue, and the worsening harm to local economies, health, and coastal access caused by transboundary pollution, the Commission’s letters to state and federal representatives is an important step in addressing the pollution crisis.

Why You Should Care

All residents, especially children and youth, should have repeated, meaningful, safe access to the outdoors to help improve physical and mental health outcomes, promote self-confidence in new experiences, and foster a love and understanding for the environment. Lack of access to safe outdoor spaces, especially for communities that identify as Black, Indigenous, and People of Color, is a reason for the critical mission-driven work that we do. The Imperial Beach shoreline, located in South San Diego County, is tragically recognized as the most polluted stretch of sandy beach in the entire country. 


Pro-Coast Vote

Anti-Coast Vote

Coastal Commissioners stood in strong support of state and federal action to address the border pollution emergency.

Organizations Opposed

Decision Type


Staff Recommendation

Coastal Act Policy