April 2010 home page

  Del Mar Ranks
Ann Gardner | Via Latina


Del Mar Leaguer Charlotte Gumbrell (on right), with neighbor Gail Gremel, continues sustainability research at Cuyamaca Water Conservation Garden’s Water Harvesting Demonstration Exhibit.
Photo Ann Gardner.

How does Del Mar compare to its neighbors in the League of Women Voters Sustainability Survey of six north coast cities? Now available on the League’s website (www.lwvncsd.org), the Survey is a real eye opener. “We were impressed by the number of actions already taken by each city,” says Del Mar Leaguer Charlotte Gumbrell who explained that the organization’s goal is to promote sustainability practices through public education. She said that the survey was an initial step; they will return to each city in a year with more questions and to measure progress made.

Why an eye opener? Because although “each city varies in population, revenue and staff,” it is impressive what cities are doing and in some areas Del Mar has some catching up to do. Oceanside has launched a “Green Oceanside” campaign, is considered a leader of recycling in the State boasting a 59% diversion rate and operates a compost facility that collects and processes green waste that is then used by its residents. Solana Beach has developed a special environmental web page: the “Green Flash,” held a “Green Building Week,” initiated a “Green Business” program, and is working on the development of a Solar financing District. Encinitas was awarded the San Diego Excellence in Energy Award from the California Center for Sustainable Energy for its municipal buildings improvements, and Vista has LEED Certification on two of its fire stations and is seeking Certification on its new Civic Center.

Del Mar ranks higher than all but one other city, Carlsbad, in open space and habitat conservation and is keeping pace with public improvements such as converting to low flow valves on all community landscaping. But, “I wish there were a groundswell coming from residents to have landscaping redone” to reduce runoff, Del Mar’s Clean Water Manager commented. And, according to the survey, Del Mar’s website is “not sufficient” for finding Del Mar related conservation information.

What are the questions the League will be asking when they return to Del Mar next year? Have we completed, as promised, an inventory of greenhouse gas emissions, emission reduction targets, more walkable areas around town and a green building code?

Gumbrell hopes the League’s ongoing investigation and follow up, including community workshops, will increase our commitment to a more sustainable future. Residents who want to participate can contact Charlotte at 755-3699, and for additional inspiration check out the “Green Flash” homepage at www.ci.solana-beach.ca.us under the City Government tab.


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