La Jolla news and community briefs
Published - 07/14/18 - 12:02 PM | 9525 views | 0 0 comments | 9 9 recommendations | email to a friend | print
A standup paddler takes in the sunset while framed by Scripps Pier DON BALCH/VILLAGE NEWS
A standup paddler takes in the sunset while framed by Scripps Pier DON BALCH/VILLAGE NEWS
SD Rules Committee votes in favor of single-use plastic reduction ordinance

The Rules Committee voted 3-2 in favor of the proposed ban on Polystyrene foam and restrictions on single-use plastics in the City of San Diego ordinance, which now moves to a full City Council vote as early as September. Councilmembers Chris Ward, President Pro Tem Barbara Bry, and Myrtle Cole - who chairs the Rules Committee - voted in favor. Councilmembers’ Chris Kersey and Chris Cate voted against.

Representatives from Surfrider Foundation, 5 Gyres Institute,, Teamsters Local 911, California Grocers’ Association, and Business For Good all spoke in support of the ordinance, which would place restrictions on the use of expanded polystyrene (commonly referred to as styrofoam), and reduce the distribution of other types of single-use plastics in San Diego.

Surfrider San Diego volunteers collected 12,575 pieces of expanded polystyrene from San Diego beaches in 2017 alone.

Unfortunately, the majority is blown into the ocean because it is light in weight and easily breaks into tiny, uncollectible pieces. Once in the ocean, polystyrene is often mistaken as food by marine life and ingestion of the single-use plastics can become fatal. Surfrider volunteers have successfully advocated for single-use plastic reduction ordinances of EPS in Solana Beach, Encinitas, and Imperial Beach.

“The Rules Committee took a significant step today by approving the Plastic Reduction Ordinance for a full city council vote,” said Michael Torti, Executive Committee Chair of Surfrider Foundation’s San Diego Chapter. “We ask our volunteers and members to contact their district city councilmember and declare their support for the proposed ordinance to ban polystyrene foam products and restrict the use of single-use plastics.”

Surfrider Foundation’s 250,000 members, volunteers, and advocates support the adoption of the Single Use Plastic Reduction Ordinance.

This ordinance would restrict the sale and distribution of polystyrene foam products for use as food service ware, fish and meat trays, egg cartons, and coolers in the City of San Diego. Furthermore, the proposal would make single-use plastic foodware, such as straws and utensils, available only upon request.

For additional information, or contact Michael Torti (info above) or Roger Kube, Policy Advisor for 5 Gyres Institute at 619.701.4027 or

Coastkeeper, Port of San Diego bring climate science to local schools

San Diego Coastkeeper and the Port of San Diego have launched a new set of bilingual lessons featuring water and climate science, available for use in local schools. The lessons are the latest addition to Coastkeeper’s Water Education For All program, a standards-aligned K-12 science curriculum available free of cost to San Diego-area teachers and informal educators. 

Funded by the Port’s Environmental Fund, the new water and climate lessons guide students in learning about how human activities influence the natural world. By participating in the lessons, students learn how to calculate their personal carbon footprint and plastic usage, and are empowered to develop and implement plans to reduce their impact and share outcomes with their families, friends, and communities. The lesson plan is hands-on, inquiry-based, and standards-aligned to help teachers ensure their students achieve Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) and Common Core State Standards (CCSS). 

“We believe that as environmental educators, our job is not only to inform local students of the challenges that face them, but equip them with the tools they need to develop real-life solutions to those challenges,” says Coastkeeper Education Manager Sandra Lebrón. “Climate change and plastic pollution are two of the largest issues facing the next generation. By providing students with engaging, locally-rooted science education, we are empowering San Diego’s youth to take the lead in creating a better world for us all.”

The new lessons were piloted at five local schools in the San Diego Bay watershed, where 598 4-8th Grade students received water and climate education and learned about how climate change affects the marine, coastal, and intertidal habitats of San Diego Bay. Two of the five schools completed additional carbon and plastic reduction projects. Pre-and post-lesson evaluations showed increases in student understanding about the causes of rising levels of greenhouse gases, the impacts of human activities on the environment, and steps that can be taken to reduce carbon emissions and decrease plastic use. 

Teachers interested in utilizing these new water and climate lessons are encouraged to visit or get in touch with San Diego Coastkeeper Education Manager Sandra Lebrón at or 619-758-7743 Ext.125.

For more information about Port of San Diego Environment, visit

Bird Rock Coffee Roasters launches barista-created drink menu

Bird Rock Coffee Roasters recemtly announced the start of their barista-created drink menu, starting with two drinks featured this summer. Though Bird Rock Coffee staff have created drinks for the seasonal menu in the past, this is the first time that the company is formalizing the process to include these new barista-created and seasonal drink offerings all year long. 

The summer drinks are served over ice and include: The Dirty Horchata, created by barista and store manager of the Bird Rock Coffee Roasters location in La Jolla,, Bianca Carbajal; it is a cold brew coffee mixed with a house-made horchata and is $4.75 for 16-ounce “The Dirty Horchata” was so popular in its testing phase that it sold out in all four locations within a couple of days. The second drink is the Café Rose, created by lead barista Kat Adams, and is made with sparkling water, house-made pomegranate-hibiscus-rose water syrup, and espresso served over ice; it is $5 for 16 ounces.

“Our baristas are the best people to innovate new and exciting drinks since they know what our customers love and they know our coffee flavor profiles so well,” said Jeff Taylor, co-owner of Bird Rock Coffee Roasters. “We want to continue to provide the best coffee the world has to offer, and to also surprise our customers with new, out-of-the-box drink recipes that highlight the creative imaginations of our outstanding staff.”

Both the Dirty Horchata and the Café Rose drinks are available at all four Bird Rock Coffee Roasters locations until the end of summer. Each drink created and selected for the special menu throughout the year will have a shot at becoming a permanent menu item if successful with customers.

Bird Rock Coffee Roasters was the first to introduce direct trade and origin-sourced coffees to the San Diego community. The roaster has received numerous accolades for their coffee, including the national Good Food Awards in 2016 and 2017, best coffee in San Diego from multiple national and local outlets, and the national “Micro Roaster of the Year” award in 2012. In 2017, PT’s Coffee Roasting Co. acquired Bird Rock Coffee Roasters, allowing for expansion in size and scope.

To learn more about Bird Rock Coffee Roasters, please visit

UC San Diego swimming, diving programs join Mountain Pacific Sports Federation

The University of California San Diego men's and women's swimming and diving programs are joining the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation (MPSF), with immediate effect for the 2018-19 season. The MPSF Administrative Committee granted the membership. The league made the announcement on July 6.

The change in league alignment comes after UC San Diego's sustained long-term success in the Pacific Collegiate Swimming and Diving Conference (PCSC). The Tritons depart following a decade of dominance as winners of the last 10 PCSC championships in a row by both their men and women. The women brought home 15 PCSC trophies in total, and the men 11, since 2002.

The switch to the MPSF is in line with UC San Diego's move from the NCAA Division II level to Division I in the fall of 2020. All of the Tritons' new opponents in the MPSF will be Division I foes. Their addition gives the MPSF 14 teams in the sport, eight on the women's side and six for the men.

UC San Diego will compete in the 2019 MPSF Championships against BYU, Cal Poly, Hawai'i, Pacific, UC Santa Barbara, UC Davis (women), and local rivals from the University of San Diego (women). The swim portion of the 2019 conference meet is set to be held Feb. 20-23 at East Los Angeles College (ELAC) in Monterey Park for the eighth straight year, while diving will be contested Feb. 21-23 at the Rose Bowl Aquatics Center in Pasadena for the sixth year in a row. The Tritons previously competed at ELAC during a pair of PCSC Championships (2016, 2017) and multiple editions of the A3 Performance Invitational (2013, 2014, 2015, 2016).

The Big West does not sponsor men's or women's swimming and diving, though Cal Poly, Hawai'i, UC Santa Barbara and UC Davis are traditional members in all sports like UC San Diego will be. The Tritons annually contest dual meets at UC Santa Barbara toward the beginning of their competition calendar in the first week of November, with the women squaring off with USD at the end of the regular season. They have topped the Toreros in six straight meetings and 15 of the last 17 (15-1-1).

UC San Diego's 2018-19 schedule will be published in the coming weeks.
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