Laguna Beach Secures Title
"Most Waterwise City" Second Year Running
Laguna Beach, you’ve done it again. For the second year in a row, residents have proven their commitment to conserve water, save energy, and cut pollution by taking part in a national contest aimed at drastically slashing water and energy use across the nation.
The Wyland Foundation and Toyota announced the winning cities of the 2013 National Mayor's Challenge for Water Conservation, an online competition held throughout April on May 3. “It was a close race right up until the last day,” said Laguna Beach Mayor Kelly Boyd. “Hermosa Beach residents really gave us a run for the money. It’s great to see that residents in both cities understand the importance of water being such a valuable resource and protecting our environment.
Separated into five population categories, the winning cities are Denver; Tucson, Ariz.; West Palm Beach, Fla.; Bremerton, Wash. and Laguna Beach. Residents in all 50 states made more than 44,000 online pledges to save water, use less energy and reduce pollution in four categories home, yard, community and life – with potential cost savings of more than $30.6 million.
During the month of April, Mayor Boyd joined mayors across the country asking residents to make a commitment to conserve water and cut pollution by taking part in the Mayor’s Challenge. With support from the Laguna Beach County Water District, Laguna Beach Chamber of Commerce, Laguna Beach Unified School District, Laguna Beach Woman’s Club, Hobie/Tuvalu, and the Sawdust Festival, a grassroots campaign was mounted to encourage residents to go online and pledge their commitment to protecting our natural resources.
“This year’s challenge gathered the support of an impressive list of cities, mayors, corporations and nonprofits, all of whom shared our enthusiasm for working toward a more sustainable future,” said environmental artist Wyland, founder of the Wyland Foundation. “Congratulations to the winning cities. The environmental education and pledges will have an impact in bringing the conversation about conserving resources closer to home.”
The Wyland Foundation, founded by renowned environmental artist Wyland, created the Challenge with Toyota in honor of the 40th Anniversary of the Clean Water Act, the primary federal law protecting water resources in the United States. Organizations spearheading the effort also include the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Office of Water, U.S. Forest Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, WaterPik, Rain Bird, Lowe's, STERLING Plumbing, PADI and Project AWARE.
“We had two goals for the National Mayor's Challenge," said artist and environmentalist Wyland, who spearheaded the project. "It brings communities together and gets people thinking about simple ways to take their commitment to conservation even further.”
In addition to making water-saving pledges, challenge participants pledged to reduce their use of single-use plastic water bottles by more than 5.4 million bottles and eliminate 69.9 million pounds of hazardous waste from entering watersheds. By altering daily lifestyle choices, pledges also resulted in potentially 18.3 million fewer pounds in landfills and 2.2 million fewer pounds of fertilizer in the waste stream. Potential savings of 67.8 million gallons of oil and 2.7 billion pounds of carbon dioxide rounded out the final pledge results.
Laguna Beach residents, along with residents from the other winning cities, are now eligible to win more than $50,000 in prizes. These prizes include the Grand Prize of a Toyota Prius Hybrid, as well as custom-designed sprinkler systems from Rain Bird, Eco-Flow Showerheads from WaterPik, water-saving toilets from STERLING Plumbing, and 1,000 gift cards for Lowe's Home Improvement Stores. Winners will be notified in the next few weeks.