Water Regulators in San Diego are facing one of their most important decisions in 20 years: how to the dredge the San Diego Bay.
The Water Quality Control Board voted unanimously Wednesday to remove 143,000 cubic yards of polluted sediment from the bay.
Scientists say the pollutants are harming the marine ecosystem, and endangering anyone who eats fish from the bay.
Head of the Cleanup team, David Gibson said the project would cost at least $70 million.
Local businesses, the Navy, San Diego City and others that contributed to the pollution are expected to pay for the work.
Part of the cleanup plan involves holding polluters accountable for littering, according to a press release from the San Diego Coastkeeper.
“The Regional Board should be applauded for finally acknowledging this pollution and the harm it causes to human, environmental and economic health,” said Jill Witkowski, legal director at San Diego Coastkeeper. “It’s about time that we make those responsible for the pollution clean up their mess.”
However, the newly approved regulations also include loopholes that will allow people to leave a certain amount of sediment pollution in the bay, Witkowski said in the statement.