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Activists Protest Paving Of Tijuana Creek

Audio

Aired 12/19/12

Activists are fighting to save a natural watershed that runs through some of Tijuana's poorest neighborhoods from concrete.

Tijuana activists are fighting to save the last green stretch of the Arroyo Alamar from the ongoing project that has covered nearby stretches of the watershed, like this one, in concrete.

— The Mexican government has been turning a creek that runs through some of Tijuana's poorest neighborhoods into a channel. But a coalition of neighborhood and environmental groups is calling on the government to save the last natural stretch from concrete.

The Arroyo Alamar is part of watershed that begins and ends on U.S. soil but crosses the border and runs east-west through Tijuana. Since last year, the government has been replacing its vegetated banks with concrete channels.

Only one natural stretch remains. It runs through a neighborhood that’s home to factory workers who toil in nearby industrial parks. It’s covered in foliage that makes it a peaceful haven from the surrounding industrial cacophony.

Environmental groups held a press conference there today, calling on the government to stop the project.

Activist Magda Cerda recently said the landscape is important as a natural filter for the contaminated water that runs into the stream from nearby factories, and ultimately ends up polluting both Tijuana and San Diego communities.

Government officials have said the stream is being lined to prevent people from being carried away during storms.

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