(Corpus Christi, TX) A coalition of eight Corpus Christi groups today announced a weekly drive-by public petition drive on Saturdays at Oleander Point from 11am to 2pm — an addition to the groups’ ongoing mailing of over 25,000 petitions (available for download at https://SaveCCBay.org) The coalition expects enough signatures to require the City of Corpus Christi to hold an election to allow Corpus Christi residents to vote on a Charter Amendment restricting the City from building desalination plants.
“Corpus Christi City Council and the Mayor have repeatedly dismissed the community’s concerns about desalination, so the community is fighting back by circulating a petition to let the people of Corpus Christi vote on whether or not we should pursue desal,” said Brittany Garcia, Lead Coastal Bend Organizer for Texas Campaign for the Environment. “We say ‘Let the People Vote!’”
Together, the plants would discharge 131 million gallons of brine concentrate every day into Corpus Christi Bay. The resulting imbalance would jeopardize the sensitive nursery for fish, shrimp, and other creatures dependent upon a mix of fresh water.
“Corpus Christi residents and our City Council need to be aware of the ominous, potentially negative impacts from these proposed desalination plants on Corpus Christi Bay’s ecosystem, the tourism economy, community health, our residential and commercial utility bills, and our education systems,” said Dr. Isabel Araiza, co-founder of the coordinating group For the Greater Good. “This is a democracy. Costly expenditures – especially those that would put the City environment, our communities and businesses at risk and that also ignore essential human needs during this time of crisis – these decisions should be made by our City residents.”
A coalition of diverse, united Corpus Christi organizational representatives gathered for the announcement of the further ramping up of the city-wide petition drive. They include:
Dr. Isabel Araiza, For the Greater Good
Dr. Jerry Sansing, Corpus Christi Taxpayers Association
Eddie Canales, South Texas Human Rights Center
Brittany Garcia, Texas Campaign for the Environment
Love Sanchez, Indigenous Peoples of the Coastal Bend
Dr. Jim Klein, Sierra Club Coastal Bend Group
Joy Miller, Clean Economy Coalition
Errol Summerlin, Coastal Alliance to Protect our Environment
Exorbitant, Unnecessary Expenditure in Current Crises of Human Needs
The city is pursuing a $222.5 million dollar loan with a plan to begin construction on the first of the proposed desalination projects.The estimated cost in 2018 dollars for the City’s desalination projects combined was nearly $1.3 billion which would be paid for by public bond funding, in other words, taxpayer dollars.
“The Corpus Christi Taxpayers Association urges people to protect their wallets and sign the SaveCCBay.org petition because these desalination plants will be yet another expensive city boondoggle,” said Jerry Sansing. “We need to vote before saddling ourselves with this enormous needless debt. If you care about our city and want to have your say, go to the website or go to Oleander Point on Saturday to sign the petition, or sign it if you get it in the mail.”
Eddie Canales with the South Texas Human Rights Center added, “The South Texas Human Rights Center supports and endorses the Save our Bay For the Greater Good charter amendment campaign because it is a human right for the Corpus Christi community to have a healthy bay and pollution-free Corpus Christi. Environmental degradation and corporate favors for the oil, gas, and chemical industries by our public officials cannot continue. The petition effort will hold them accountable and the voters should decide with voice and vote.”
“We don’t need to spend that kind of money for speculative heavy industrial projects when the financial community is walking away from big projects right now,” said Joy Miller with the Clean Economy Coalition. “We can create a lot of good, clean, long-lasting and safe jobs and help a lot of people with that kind of money without putting our whole region at risk of environmental ruin from saline waste killing the bays.”
No Need for Expensive Projects
The City Council, Mayor Joe McComb, and the Port of Corpus Christi claim the desalination projects are to insure an adequate water supply. However, the city’s 2019 water conservation report indicates that with a water conservation plan, the city can meet projected demands in population and business growth for the next 20 years with the current water supply by adjusting water consumption rates for residents and local commercial businesses.
“Corpus Christi can meet our water needs without desalination. Don’t believe the city if they tell you otherwise. There are cheaper, more sustainable ways to serve our community’s water demands including in times of drought. Even the city’s own documents prove we don’t need these desalination plants,” said Jim Klein with the Coastal Bend Sierra Club.
The Way to Stop It
As an indigenous native womxn, I am concerned about the desalination plants because of my connection to the water and how these facilities will destroy the bay,” said Love Sanchez with Indigenous People of the Coastal Bend. “I think the community should know what is happening and should have a say in this plan.The people of Corpus Christi, Texas have the opportunity to stop the environmental and financial instability that will happen if these desalination plants are built. The way to stop it is by signing the charter amendment petition established by For the Greater Good. Together as a community we can stop these desalination plants by signing at Saveccbay.org today. Ye’ka.”
[Ye’ka is Karankawa for “Go with love.”]
Read more at https://saveccbay.org/ and
Follow on https://www.facebook.com/savethebayforthegreatergood/
Categories: News Clipping