Surfrider Foundation

Huntington Beach/Seal Beach Chapter

Blue Water Task Force Newsletter
May 2008

CWMOC Members participate in California Snapshot Day Water Quality Test. The Citizen Watershed Monitors of Orange County (CWMOC) sponsored by Southern California's Regional Water Control boards, was formed to grow the citizen water quality monitoring effort of watersheds in Orange County, with a networking approach and with participation from the involved agencies, non-profits, and community based organizations. Our chapter has been a member of this organization since it’s inception over 5 years ago. On May 3, 2008 several of the CWMOC chapter members participated in a one-day exercise conducted to monitor the water quality of our local watershed. Samples were collected at over 20 sites between the San Gabriel River and San Mateo Creek and were analyzed for chemical, physical and microbiological contaminants. Sites included samples from ocean shoreline, estuary, and fresh water locations. Primary contaminants of concern are pathogens (fecal indicator bacteria) and nutrients (nitrates and phosphates). These State-wide “Snapshot Day” water quality events have been conducted yearly since first initiated by the State Water Resources Control Board in 2003. The results of the examination for this year are currently being evaluated. Space for the location of activities for the event was provided by the Bolsa Chica Conservancy at the Interpretive Center at Warner and PCH. Laboratory services were provided by Orange County Coastkeeper. Other environmental organizations participating in this event include DIVERS, Orange County Coastkeeper, Citizen Water Monitors of Orange County, Bolsa Chica Conservancy, and Trout Unlimited as well as the general public. We are grateful to our event sponsor PROJECT POLLUTION PREVENTION for making this event possible. See A more complete description of this event as well as the data results can be found at; and

Chapter Recommends Bolsa Chica Inlet be listed as an Impaired Water Body. According to a report and data recently released by the Bolsa Chica Conservancy, the inlet to the Bolsa Chica wetlands is contaminated by enterococcus bacteria to levels that frequently exceed AB411 Calif. State standards. Enterococcus bacteria is the fecal indicator that the EPA has recommended to be the primary indicator of choice for the detection of pathogens in ocean waters. The data also indicates that the number of measured bacterial exceedances is greater then that required to place a water segment on the State section 303(d) list of impaired water bodies. The data samples were collected by the Conservancy’s volunteer scientists at ebb and flood tides over a 21 month period following the date of opening of the newly constructed Bolsa Chica inlet. The data shows that state thresholds for enterococcus bacteria were exceeded on nine out of 56 samples over a period of 21 months, or greater than 16% of the time. Comparable bacterial exceedance rates for enterococcus at the county health care agency monitored sites north (at 33N), and south (at 27N) of the new tidal inlet are 1.9% and 4.5% respectfully out of 215 days sampled over the same first twelve month period of time. A 16% sample data bacterial exceedance rate would make the Bolsa Chica inlet the most frequently contaminated REC 1 site currently being regularly monitored in Orange County. Unfortunately this site, unlike other problematic sites at the Santa Ana and San Gabriel River mouths, and the Talbert Marsh, is neither regularly monitored nor posted with warning signs by the County Health Care Agency. A letter and supporting data and FACT SHEET have been forwarded to the Santa Ana Regional Water Quality Control Board (SARWQCB) by our Chapter requesting that this site be considered for listing on the State 303(d) list of impaired water bodies. (See ATTACHMENTS) The members of the Bolsa Chica Conservancy volunteer scientists who spent many dedicated hours collecting the samples and publishing the data are to be commended for bringing this issue to our attention, Orange County League of Conservation Voters Honors Sara Wan. At the recent Orange County League of Conservation Voters (OC-LCV) held May 1, 2008 held at the University Club at U.C.I. Sara Wan received Special Recognition for Environmental Excellence for the critical role that she has played as Coastal Commissioner in many important issues, particularly public access, wetland and habitat protection, protection of marine mammals, and protection of water quality and lower cost recreation. She co-founded Vote the Coast, a Political Action Committee dedicated to electing coastal friendly candidates, and serves as its Executive Director. She also serves as its Executive Director. She also founded ORCA (Organization of Regional Coastal Activists) which is designed to educate coastal activists about the Coastal Act and the Commission and to create a statewide network of activists.

Much of Sara’s acceptance speech was devoted towards opposition of AB1991 (Mullen). This bill would remove 2 properties with 48 acres of undeveloped land with wetlands in the Coastal Zone from all environmental review to facilitate a 129 unit development. It bails out the City of Half Moon Bay which made a "settlement" with the developer that implements an appealable Federal Trial Court decision that ignores a State Court of Appeals ruling and sets out a path for future avoidance of all environmental laws. Also receiving an award from the OC-LCV were the Orange County Water District (OCWD) and the Orange County Water District (OCWD) for special recognition for Environmental Achievement for the Ground Water Replenishment System. It is the largest water purification project of its kind in the world and will help increase Orange County’s water independence by providing a locally controlled, drought-proof supply of safe, high-quality water. Acknowledged by the water agency speakers for their early support for this sometimes controversial “toilet-totap” project were the following environmental organizations; Surfrider Foundation, Huntington/Seal Beach chapter, Sierra Club and Coastkeeper in that order. State Water Board Holds Desalination Policy Scoping Meeting. Because the EPA has been slow to adopt a new set of rules and regulations that correctly implements Clean Water Act Section 316(b), and the regulation has substantially changed, the State Water Board is now releasing a revised document entitled, “Scoping Document: “Water Quality Control Policy on the Use of Coastal and Estuarine Waters for Power Plant Cooling.” The revised document is being released to allow the public to review and comment on the State Water Board staff’s preliminary proposal for a statewide policy to implement Section 316(b) of the Clean Water Act regarding the use of once-through cooling water at power plants. The State Water Board held a CEQA scoping meeting and public workshop on May 8, 2008 in San Pedro CA. Attending this meeting and making comments in opposition to Once Through Cooling (OTC) power generating plants were members of the environmental stakeholder community, including Surfrider Foundation, Heal the Bay, Orange County Coastkeeper, Residents for Responsible Desalination (R4RD), environmental atty. Conner Everett, and others. Arguing against the proposed policy were members of the power generating industry, CASIO, NRG, AES and Edison. The proponents for retiring or converting OTC power generating plants to newer air cooling technology point out the loss of marine life caused by the impingement and entrainment associated with the ocean water intake mechanism of these plants. Power Industry opponents point out the loss of grid reliability that would result if the CASIO peak energy provider power industry is forced into early retirement. SWRCB board members were correct to point out that power grid reliability was not a Water Board responsibility, but that issue should be more properly addressed by the California Energy Commission. For more information and a list of comments; water_issues/programs/npdes/cwa316.shtml


Surfrider Foundation
Huntington Beach/Seal Beach Chapter Santa Ana Regional Water Quality Control Board
3737 Main Street, Suite 500 Riverside CA. 92501-3339 Basin Planning, Inland Waters. ATTN: Ms. Pavlova Vitale RE: Bolsa Chica inlet bacterial contamination. Dear Ms. Vitale; Thank you for the information regarding 303(d) listing requirements for impaired water bodies. We believe that there is sufficient data recently taken at the mouth of the Bolsa Chica Inlet by the Coastkeeper, Orange County bacterial laboratory to include this site as a candidate for listing as an impaired water body. Additional supporting data and information will be forwarded to you via E-mail as required by SWRCB 303(d) listing requirements. Copies of correspondence with State Lands Commission are included with this letter for your information, although the site in question is not within, but adjacent to the Bolsa Chica Fish and Game Refuge. The source of this contamination is not presently known. Any additional assistance that you may wish to provide to us regarding this issue would be greatly appreciated. Sincerely, Don Schulz Director, Blue Water Task Force. Surfrider Foundation Huntington/Seal Beach Chapter CC. Orange County Coastkeeper. State Lands Commission.

May 12, 2008

P.O. Box 4216, Seal Beach, Ca. 90740

FACT SHEET: A. Region: SARWQCB (Region 8) B. Type of water body: REC 1 Coastal Shoreline. C. Name of water body segment: Bolsa Chica State Beach. Calwater watershed No. 80111000. D. Pollutant type: Indicator bacteria, enterococcus. E. Medium: Seawater. F. Water quality standards: “Final Functional Equivalent Document, Appendix A Water Quality Control Policy.” Pg. A-5 Sect. 3.3. and Pg. A-10 Table 3.2. 1. Beneficial use affected: Human health risk; swimming and surfing. 2. Numeric water quality objective: enterococcus 104/100ml. per water quality standards stated in the above reference FED appendix A. 3. Antidegredation considerations; None. Not Applicable. 4. Other provisions of the standard used: FED Pg. A-5 Sect. 3.3 Par. 2-3. G. Brief Watershed Description: Bolsa Chica State Beach; adjacent to a tidal input to a California. Fish and Game Preserve enclosed bay. H. Summary of data and/or information; 1. Spatial representation; N 33.683 deg. W 118.036 deg. See photo. in attachment. 2. Temporal representation: See attached Data Sheet. 3. Age of data and/or information. 8/24/2006 to 5/2/2008. See attached Data Sheet. 4. Effect of seasonality and events/conditions that that might influence data and/or information evaluation: Tidal inlet was first opened Aug. 24, 2006. 5. Number of samples or observations: 56. 6. Number of samples or observations exceeding guidelines or standards: 9. 7. Source of or reference for data and/or information: Bolsa Chica Conservancy Data. Attached. I. For numeric data include: 1. Quality assurance assessment: See QAPP; J. For non-numeric data include: N/A. K. Potential source of pollutant: Not presently known. Could be outflow from the newly opened inlet, or sewage from adjacent state park rest room, or other, as yet another unidentified source. L. Programs addressing the problem: None known. M. Data evaluation as required by Sect. 3 or 4 of this policy: Number of bacterial exceedences from April 1 to Oct. 31 2006; 2 of 10 is 20%. And from April 1 2007 to Oct. 31 2007 is 3 of 14 or 21.4%. The bacterial standard limit for this pollutant is not greater than 4%. The total exceedance rate for the period 8/24/2006 to 5/2/2008 is 9 out of 56 (16%) or greater than 15%. REF: Sect.3.3 and Pg.A-10 Table 3,2 of the above referenced FED Appendix A. N. Recommendation: Place the described water body on the 303(d) list of impaired water bodies. O. TMDL schedule: TBD by the SARWQCB.

Bolsa Chica New Inlet Overlook Site Bacterial Data (mpn/100ml) Tide Flood Tide Ebb Tide Date 8/24/2006 9/7/2006 9/21/2006 10/5/2006 10/19/2006 11/2/2006 11/16/2006 12/4/2006 12/18/2006 1/4/2007 1/18/2007 2/1/2007 2/15/2007 3/1/2007 4/16/2007 5/14/2007 6/19/2007 7/18/2007 8/28/2007 9/27/2007 10/22/2007 11/26/2007 12/10/2007 1/8/2008 2/7/2008 3/18/2008 4/8/2008 5/2/2008 NOTES: data source; test method; Bolsa Chica Conservancy IDEXX Quantitray Ht (ft) 4 5.4 5 5.7 5.3 5.7 5.2 7 6 6.4 6.5 8.1 6.2 5.7 5 4.2 4 4.4 4.3 6.1 4 5.6 5.5 5.2 5.1 4.8 4.9 3.7 TC-Flood 10 63 10 20 74 31 10 20 309 10 10 10 31 345 10 10 10 10 374 310 10 10 336 10 10 10 10 E.Coli-Flood 10 20 10 10 10 31 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 Entero-Flood 65.3 116.3 13.5 59.1 35.9 37.3 24.6 151 112.6 41.9 32.8 10 40 163.8 45 30.7 66.3 82.9 69.6 21.3 189.2 18.7 90.8 547.5 84 88.9 68.9 39.3 TC-Ebb 74 20 31 41 20 85 52 10 31 52 10 31 10 86 10 10 10 10 408 20 10 52 171 96 63 10 E.ColiEbb 10 10 10 20 10 41 31 10 10 20 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 41 10 10 31 10 62 10 10 EnteroEbb 84.2 399.8 25.9 87.1 30.1 33.2 27.2 11.9 69.5 30.1 28.7 10.9 49 42.2 38 36.8 117.4 30.6 51.2 21.3 121.1 23.8 70.3 190.4 46.7 53.7 30.9 20.3