Cigarette butts and keg cups on the streets of Isla Vista will soon be trapped in a storm drain rather than washed into the ocean.
Representatives from the Santa Barbara County Public Works Dept., Assemblywoman Hannah-Beth Jackson’s office, Project Clean Water and the Shoreline Preservation Fund met at the corner of Del Playa Drive and Camino Pescadero on Wednesday afternoon to announce the start of construction next week on the second of four Continuous Deflective Separation (CDS) units along DP. The drain will be located at the corner of DP and Camino Pescadero and should be installed within three to four weeks.
CDS units are specially designed to collect even the smallest pieces of trash. They consist of concrete cylinders with two chambers separated by a steel screen filter. Runoff water passes through the screen, leaving trash behind, before it is directed to the ocean. There is already one CDS unit at the corner of El Embarcadero and DP, and two more will be installed at the corner of DP and Camino del Sur and where DP meets the Escondido path.
“This unit is ideal for Isla Vista because it doesn’t clog. Even if we never maintained it, the water would just bypass the drain,” public works civil engineer Cathleen Garnand said. “Optimistically we’re going to clean it out two to three times per year.”
The Public Works Dept. emptied 1.2 tons of trash from the CDS unit at DP and El Embarcadero 10 months after it was installed in January 2003. Scott Bull of Shoreline Preservation Fund said the amount of trash collected from the drain is evidence of its effectiveness.
“Without the filter, all the trash in the street would usually end up on the beaches,” Bull said.
The CDS unit and accompanying construction costs approximately $100,000 per unit. The majority of this cost is covered by a $2.1 million grant from the California Coastal Conservancy, secured by Jackson in 2000. From that grant, $1.8 million has already been spent on eight CDS units in other areas of the county and other equipment. The Shoreline Preservation Fund, a student-run organization established to fund the improvement of the campus coastline, contributed $80,000 to the I.V. CDS project. The fund receives $3 per student per quarter through a lock-in fee.
“This is the biggest project Shoreline Preservation has ever funded,” Bull said. “We felt it was a real important project for this campus because of the benefit for students.”
Michael Hackett, Jackson’s representative, said he was impressed by the amount of funding for the project generated from students.
“We’re particularly appreciative with Shoreline Preservation Fund and the students’ contribution – it shows a lot of commitment and understanding,” Hackett said. “The project is in the students’ interest and it’s in I.V.’s interest. This is such a heavily populated area that we really don’t want trash to get down to the beach.”