By LOWELL HURST, Watsonville Mayor
Solid Waste Collections Services Expanded: In addition to picking up garbage, recycling and yard waste, the city is now expanding to provide food waste (organics) collection for businesses. Organics recycling is the latest state mandate in waste reduction. Watsonville has implemented this mandate with 34 businesses currently enrolled. So far, this program has recycled more than 2,000 tons of food waste that would otherwise go to the landfill, helping reduce greenhouse gas emissions created by garbage. All of these waste reduction efforts are important as our landfill will be closing in 2019. The majority of garbage and recyclables collected will be trucked to the Monterey Regional Waste Management District in Marina. After closure, the city is mandated to set aside money to monitor the landfill for the next 30 years.
Girl’s Science Thursdays: Join us on Thursday, Aug. 16, from 3:30-6:30 p.m. at the Science Workshop on Second Street for a girls-only day of science, engineering, exploration and creation. Girls and women are underrepresented in science, in both academia and professional careers, and we are hopeful to work towards changing that ratio! During these Thursday programs, boys are always welcomed to attend. Boys will have a supervised work area set up just outside and may also visit the mobile science workshop or the satellite River Park location. Creating a unique space specifically for girls to explore is crucial to our program intention.
Water Quality Watchdogs Wanted: August is National Water Quality Month and we are seeking the support of our Watsonville community members to ensure the health of our watershed. What you can do: If you witness someone in the act of vandalism, littering, or dumping toxic trash into any creek or the Pajaro River, please do the following:
• Dial 471-1151. This is the city’s non-emergency response line.
• Do your best to identify your location. Describe local landmarks, nearby cross streets, names of bridges, etc. to help clarify your site.
• Do not put yourself in harm’s way. Your safety is our highest priority. Do not instigate arguments with those who are involved in illegal activity.
• If you can safely take a photo, please do so. This will be helpful to provide to enforcement, as well as any details about what you witnessed.
• Please note: Do not call the non-emergency hotline to report existing trash/vandalism. This number is to be used should you witness people participating in these illegal activities.
Music in the Plaza: Join us all summer long in the Plaza for our Thursday night concert series from 6-8 p.m. We will feature a variety of bands to help you get your groove on. Grab a bite at our downtown restaurants and join us for the music.
• Aug. 23: Back to the 70’s/Disco — Heart and Soul Band
• Sept. 6: Motown, R&B & Oldies
Annual Coastal Cleanup Day: The City of Watsonville joins Save Our Shores, the California Coastal Commission, and the Ocean Conservancy in celebrating the 33rd anniversary of Annual Coastal Cleanup. Every year, Coastal Cleanup Day attracts tens of thousands of volunteers locally in Watsonville, across the State of California, throughout the entire United States, and in dozens of countries abroad. Together we join forces to remove trash and marine debris pollution, protecting our waterways, coastline, and ocean ecosystems. Save the date for this year’s event which will take place on Saturday, Sept. 15, from 9 a.m.-noon. For all general event questions or if you have a volunteer group that is interested in helping to co-host a cleanup location, please email Environmental Projects Coordinator Rachel Kippen at [email protected]
Monterey Bay Birding Festival: Don’t miss the Monterey Bay Birding Festival taking place on Sept. 29 and Sept. 30. Visit their website at www.montereybaybirding.org for more information.
I love to hear from our community, so please feel free to email me directly at [email protected]
Lowell Hurst is the mayor of Watsonville. His opinions are his own and not necessarily those of the Register-Pajaronian.