To: Santa Cruz City Council and Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors
Growing problems associated with IV drug use and manufacturing camps are taking a tremendous toll on our community. Access to safe, clean beaches is becoming obsolete. Used needles potentially containing Hepatitis and HIV are being discarded by drug users at our beaches, shopping and dining venues, and public recreation areas. They are spilling over into the streets where our children play. On January 8, the body of a homeless man was found at the mouth of the San Lorenzo River, where river meets ocean at the popular River Mouth surf break.
Further up that same river, IV drug use and manufacturing camps abound. With this season’s heavy rainfall, raw sewage, needles and other trash from these camps is coursing into the ocean, right into the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, where we surf and fish. The combination of heavy rains flushing bacteria into the ocean and surfers frequenting the River Mouth is a public health emergency in the making. Indeed, surfers are reporting ear infections, staph infections, and unidentifiable rashes, to name a few. Clearly, this issue is having an impact on the health and livelihood of our citizens. Santa Cruz, which depends on tourism to fuel its economy, is keeping tourists away with its skyrocketing crime and drug paraphernalia-littered beaches. Many now choose to avoid downtown due to the increase in violent crime rates and panhandling. Big wave surfer and World Surfing Reserve Ambassador Ken Collins reports that more and more of his out-of-town friends refuse to visit him because of what our town has become.
Is this what we want for our children and our community?
We and are in the midst of a public health crisis. Something must be done. Speaking on behalf of the community, the Surfrider Foundation Santa Cruz Chapter, Surfers’ Environmental Alliance, and the surfing community demand that something be done.
Please sign this petition if you support the protection of our natural resources and our rights to have access to safe, clean parks and beaches. Let’s get a ton of sigs and get our opinion on-record!
For the Oceans, Waves and Beaches
Check out this short video by Dylan Greiner, Santa Cruz Surfing School to get a visual of the issue:
AND CHECK OUT OUR “COMMUNITY RESOURCES ON SAFE AND CLEAN OCEANS, WAVES, AND BEACHES PAGE“ ON THIS WEBSITE FOR MORE RESOURCES TO ACT ON THIS PUBLIC SAFETY AND HEALTH MATTER.