DeMaio outlines ‘blue economy’ plan in La Jolla Shores
By Pat Sherman
District 5 City Councilman and Republican mayoral candidate Carl DeMaio made a stop at Kellogg Park in La Jolla Shores Monday morning, Aug. 27, to promote his plan for boosting the region’s ecotourism industry via its beaches and canyons, and for reducing storm water runoff.
“Obviously, surfing is one of the biggest contributors (to the local ecotourism economy),” DeMaio said. “My goal is to emphasis why the economy and the environment go hand-in-hand.”
DeMaio said the city is not doing an “effective job” of storm water management. Incorporating “vegetation strips” into roadway projects could capture runoff from rainstorms better and more cost-effectively, he said.
At present the city provides little incentive to conserve water, DeMaio added.
“The City of San Diego has a flawed water-rate structure. In the past drought … residents did the right thing — they cut their water usage by 10 percent, mainly through landscaping changes, but they did not see a savings on their water bills. In fact, their water bills were higher.”
DeMaio cited the region’s oceanic research institutes and the development of a desalination plant in Carlsbad as examples of the region’s “homegrown” blue economy, adding that San Diego can make a positive impact on the environment “using existing funding levels or lower” by embracing innovation and technology.
Asked by the La Jolla Light about the impact on La Jolla’s ecotourism caused by the stench emanating from bird and marine mammal waste on rocks at La Jolla Cove, DeMaio said it is “more than ridiculous” and “just foolhardy” for the city not to allow community members to cleanse the rocks via some of the remedies they’ve proposed.
“I think we need to actually go ahead and allow for the use of some of the cleaning fluids,” DeMaio said. “I think that they’re taking an overly cautious approach banning certain cleansers (that) are naturally based and all-organic. Then, of course, the water thing. It’s not logical that you wouldn’t be able to use water spray on there.
“When you have your customer asking you to take action on a problem, you need to figure out how to solve it,” he said. “Don’t just say no, because the problem festers.”
DeMaio also told the Light he does not support the year-round seal rope being voted on this week by the San Diego Planning Commission, nor does he favor creating permit regulations for SCUBA and dive instructors who conduct their business at La Jolla Shores, as was implemented for Kayak school operators.
“I’m actually looking for more economic activity in the city and less regulation, less cost of business,” he said. “I actually love it when I seem more operators coming in and providing great services to visitors and residents alike. I think we’re looking at the wrong point of view when we try taxing and regulating our businesses to death.”
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