California Coastkeeper Alliance and 12 local Waterkeeper organizations announced yesterday the launch of the Blue Business Council, a network of California businesses working to protect the state’s most valuable and threatened natural capital—its coast, ocean, bays, rivers and streams.
The Blue Business Council’s founding members are a diverse group of like-minded businesses spanning California from La Jolla to Humboldt. The founding Council members include, Patagonia, New Belgium Brewing, Clif Bar, REI, Pura Vida Bracelets, Santa Barbara Adventure Company, Channel Island Outfitters, Pro SUP Shop, Shelter Co., Humboldt Bay Oyster & Tourism, Hotel Healdsburg and h2hotel.
“As an outdoor business with our headquarters in coastal California for 40 years, we care deeply about protecting and cleaning-up our waterways to ensure that they are swimmable, fishable and drinkable,” said Hans Cole, environmental campaigns and advocacy manager at Patagonia, Inc. “The Blue Business Council brings a strong new voice on this front, and we support California Coastkeeper Alliance’s efforts to engage this group of likeminded citizens and businesses in action and advocacy.”
California’s blue economy is a study of contrasts. California’s coast, bays and rivers power a $106 billion tourism industry and a $39 billion ocean economy. But half of California’s waterways are currently too polluted for swimming, fishing or drinking. The state’s coastal cities and counties spend $420 million annually cleaning up trash and marine debris, and poor water quality at Southern California beaches sickens one million swimmers every year.
“Water is a renewable resource, but it is not inexhaustible,” said Sara Aminzadeh, executive director of California Coastkeeper Alliance. “California’s current drought underscores the need for decisive action and innovative policy reforms to protect our blue economy.”
Blue Business Council members recognized the importance of clean and plentiful water by taking the Clean Water Pledge. These companies are working to support policies and practices that address threats such as drought, trash and polluted runoff. California Coastkeeper Alliance and Blue Business Council members will celebrate Swimmable California Day on July 25, a day officially designated by the California Legislature in 2013 recognizing Californians’ rights to coastal areas, beaches, estuaries, rivers, streams and lakes that are clean and safe.
“New Belgium works to protect and restore the health of our watersheds and waterways because clean water is essential to great beer and our quality of life,” said Jenn Vervier of New Belgium.
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