Tijuana River Valley Recovery Team / TRVRT
Alter Terra director, Oscar Romo played an instrumental role in creating the Tijuana River Valley Recovery Team (TRVRT) and has served as a member of the team since its inception in 2008. The U.S. Recovery Team is a collaboration of more than 30 federal, state and local government agencies, and other interested parties from both sides of the border, focused on addressing sediment, trash, and associated environmental issues. The collaborative stakeholder-led approach to integrate the diverse scientific, environmental, regulatory and private stakeholder perspectives with the existing planning documents of the Recovery Strategy is intended to reduce the impacts of anthropogenic sediment and trash on the Valley’s resources. At the heart of this document is a list of seven priority action items identified to address the trash and sediment issue that affects the Tijuana River Valley. Priority “F” is to Involve and Inform the Community in Mexico and U.S.
Alter Terra spearheaded the effort to move “partnerships with Mexico” to the top of the conservation strategy. In 2012, Romo helped to finalize the recovery strategy and to share the document with local, state, and federal government officials in Mexico. The Alter Terra team facilitated the creation and organization of the Mexican Recovery Team in Tijuana. As a result of these efforts, officials from all three levels of the Mexican government now participate in the Tijuana River Valley Recovery Team. The agencies that Romo brought to the team include: City of Tijuana Urban Municipal Infrastructure/DOIUM, B.C. State Water Authority/CESPT, National Water Commission/CONAGUA, State Environmental Protection Agency/SPA, International Boundary and Water Commission/CILA, Federal Environmental Protection Agency/SEMARNAT, Federal Social Development Agency/SEDESOL, the Los Laureles Watershed Council and Municipal delegate from Playas de Tijuana.
Additional contributions to the Recovery Team include:
- The initiation of ongoing negotiations between the International Boundary and Water Commission (IBWC) and the Comision Internacional de Limites y Aguas (CILA) to create a new Treaty Minute for the control of trash and sediment
- Coordination of binational Recovery Team Meetings
- Coordination of quarterly steering committee meetings held in Tijuana
- Binational trash and sediment workshops
- Serving in an advisory capacity to the Mexican Recovery Team
The Recovery Team’s vision includes a Tijuana River Valley free of historical trash and sediment, protected from future deposits of trash and sediment, restored to a sustained physical, chemical and biological integrity, and performing its hydrologic functions, while respecting the interests of current and future landowners and users.