Ridgways Rail Classic Ed Henry

Statement on the Orange County Offshore Oil Spill

As part of the ReWild Mission Bay campaign to restore native wetlands in northeast Mission Bay, I’m well aware of the coastal species and ecosystems being smothered, at this moment, along the coast of Orange County in the state’s largest offshore oil spill in 30 years. That this occurred is inexcusable.

That California continues to engage in oil and gas extraction, whether from fracking wells or oil drilling in the Santa Barbara Channel or southern San Joaquin Valley, is a clear sign that voters must make their voices heard on this matter. Until politicians feel pain on following through with this kind of destructive resource extraction, progress will not occur. Californians would never tolerate these risks for a moment if they were better informed.

To describe the impact of this oil spill on Western Snowy Plover and Ridgway’s Rail habitat, on delicate eggs waiting to be hatched, and marine life struggling to survive in a warming ocean rapidly running out of oxygen is, frankly, too heartbreaking to express.

On social media we like to marvel at the site of dolphin superpods racing across the ocean’s surface, and we’re chilled at the site of coastal drone footage of sharks passing close by, or even beneath surfers and swimmers in the water unaware of their presence.

But we have been unable to transfer that sense of awe and wonder into the kind of constructive policy that was being passed 50 years ago that will ensure the survival and health of those species, along with our planet and ourselves.

That’s why I co-founded the San Diego County Democrats for Environmental Action in 2014, and that’s why I’m committed to advancing strong environmental policy as a San Diego City Council candidate. It’s also why our campaign has earned the support of Supervisor Terra Lawson-Remer and many others, and why our District 6 neighborhoods are coalescing around our campaign.

I am the only environmentalist running for San Diego City Council, and I will continue to be a voice for our environment as our D6 effort continues, from speaking up for the sanctity of the Del Mar Mesa Preserve, to pledging greater city leadership on the Tijuana River Valley pollution crisis, to further divesting our city from fossil fuels.

To that end I hope I can count on your continued support as we consider the wisdom of our neighborhoods in ensuring a cleaner, better city for all of us.

Photos by Greg Hoxsie and Joe Orellana. Banner photo by Ed Henry.

Releasing Ridgway’s Rails into the wild at Kendall-Frost Marsh with ReWild Mission Bay, Aug. 2019.