Tijuana River National Estuarine Research Reserve Marine Debris Cleanup and Reduction Program
The Tijuana River National Estuarine Research Reserve (NERR), with support from a NOAA Marine Debris Program Removal Grant, worked to remove debris from the Tijuana River NERR and prevent further debris from washing down the Tijuana River Watershed from Mexico.
Project Dates: July 2014 - July 2016
Who is involved?
With support from the NOAA Marine Debris Program's (MDP) Community-based Removal grant, the Southwest Wetlands Interpretive Association, Tijuana River NERR, California State Parks, WiLDCOAST, and Surfrider worked together to remove and prevent debris in the Tijuana River Valley.
What is the project and why is it important?
The large amounts of trash and larger debris that wash downstream from Mexico threaten and degrade the Tijuana River Valley’s valuable ecological, cultural, recreational, and economic resources. With support from the MDP Community-based removal grants program, the Southwest Wetlands Interpretive Association, Tijuana River NERR, California State Parks, WiLDCOAST, and Surfrider worked together to remove debris from this area as well as prevent future accumulation.
Tijuana River NERR staff oversaw the removal and disposal of debris that accumulated behind large trash booms that block the debris from flowing into the ocean. Upgrades were made to the booms to improve their strength and stability during flood events. Debris settled in the Goat Canyon sediment basin farther upstream of the boom were excavated, sorted, and disposed of. The project also included an outreach component to reduce and prevent future debris inundations within the Tijuana River Watershed. Outreach efforts in Tijuana included raising awareness within middle school classrooms and developing partnerships with city officials and the waste management industry.
More than 400 tons of debris was removed from the Tijuana River NERR by 2016. Addressing marine debris across international borders, outreach initiatives will stem the flow of debris from Mexico into the Tijuana River Watershed.