By Scott Sherman | District 7 Dispatch
Back in July, I joined Mayor Kevin Faulconer to announce several private landowners and public agencies that control property along the 17-mile San Diego River have joined cleanup efforts to remove trash and debris from the river.
So far, the cleanup efforts have resulted in over 130 tons of trash removed from the riverbed and reduced the number of homeless encampments by half along the river since September.
The city of San Diego owns about one-third of the property along the river. The remaining two-thirds is split between private property owners, various public agencies and the San Diego River Park Foundation (SDRPF).
The ongoing cleanup, enforcement and cooperation is helping return the river to the way I remember it as a child. With the continued cooperation and the implementation of the San Diego River Park Master Plan, we can turn the river into an amenity instead of an afterthought.
The city has offered one-time cleanup assistance to private property owners and several have accepted. After the one-time cleanup, it will be the owners’ responsibility to maintain the site. Those who do not take advantage of the offer are required to clean it themselves or they will be cited, which could result in fines ranging from $100 a day to $1,000 per day.
A vital part of cleaning up the river has been the SDRPF. The coalition is an organization dedicated to making the river a truly treasured regional asset that is valued by everyone in the San Diego region.
The coalition is always in need of new volunteer to help clean up the river. To help do your part, please visit sandiegoriver.org. There are many ways you can add your voice to the call for a safe and healthy San Diego River Park system!
—San Diego City Councilmember Scott Sherman represents the District 7 neighborhoods of Mission Valley, Grantville, Allied Gardens, Del Cerro and San Carlos.