Mary Carreon

About Me

Traversing the world with my pen and following stories that captivate souls. Hi, my name's Mary, and I'm an award winning journalist from Southern California. I write about cannabis and the environment for an impressive, scrappy little rag known as OC Weekly.

I won first place in Public Affairs at the Orange County Press Club Awards for my story "Spray Away From Our Kids: How Irvine Became SoCal's First Non-Toxic City." You can find it in the cover story section.

You can read my words in OC WeeklyPotPlus, Forbes, LA Weekly (RIP), Abracadabs Magazine, Sensi Magazine and hopefully your publication soon, too. I'm available for hire on a freelance basis. Feel free to drop me a line if you have any questions or are interested in a collab.

OC Weekly

The Poseidon Desal Plant Scores Victory at State Land Commision

Hundreds of people gathered at the Huntington Beach City Hall yesterday to attend the State Land Commission (SLC) hearing, one of three major meetings to determine if the Poseidon desalination project will move forward. The SLC consists of three members—Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, Controller Betty Yee, and Finance Director Michael Cohen. The job of the regulatory body is to provide the people of California with effective stewardship of the lands, waterways, and resources entrusted to its care through
OC Weekly

Tustin Votes For Non-Toxic Pilot Program—So Why Aren't Non-Toxic Groups Celebrating?

Last week, the Tustin City Council met to discuss the possibility of a synthetic pesticide-free community. After nearly half a year of meeting with councilmembers, Non Toxic Tustin—one of the many "non toxic" groups formed as a result of Non Toxic Irvine's success in swaying the Irvine City Council to curtail the use of toxic pesticides— finally saw their item on the agenda. But unlike Irvine, the Tustin City Council voted to do a pilot program, or test run, on two parks in the city to gauge the
OC Weekly

Ray Hiemstra of Orange County Coastkeeper Helps to Protect OC's Coast

In 1980, Ray Hiemstra had no idea he'd be one of the leading environmental activists in Orange County, let alone working as the associate director of programs at Orange County Coastkeeper. Working in a solid union job at a Jerseymaid milk plant with full benefits and a pension, Hiemstra had a stable career to support his family. But as a natural outdoorsman and a former Boy Scout, his childhood dream was to work in nature, a dream Hiemstra thought he left behind. Fullerton-born and North OC-rai
OC Weekly

OC Residents Still at Standing Rock say the Fight has Just Begun

Eric Massimino of Huntington Beach hopped on a bus that took him and 40 other water protectors to an area of desolate highway in North Dakota where Energy Transfer Partners had begun lying pipe. They surrounded the machinery and prayed while they watched construction decimate an area of sacred land. Within 30 minutes, nearly 50 riot police bulldozed through the protectors, spraying mace from massive extinguishers. Massimino hustled back to the bus, when an older native was tackled and maced dire
OC Weekly

Poseidon Desal Plant On Trump's "To-Do" List—But He's Factually Wrong About Everything

Trump’s alternative facts continue. On Tuesday night McClatchy News published a story revealing the new Administration's priority list of 50 Emergency and National Security Projects. Included is Poseidon’s proposed, long-controversial Huntington Beach Desalination Plant. And as expected, Trump and his team of nimrods are spreading false information about the project. A PowerPoint document explaining each project describes the Poseidon desalination plant as a “cost-effective, environmentally sen
OC Weekly

Latino Sellouts Support Poseidon Desal Plant Again—Including Nativo Lopez?!

You know what really grinds our gears at the Weekly? When people think they’re justified to speak on behalf of entire communities—especially when it comes to Latinos and the Poseidon desalination project. Especially when said spokespeople are onetime legit leaders who now come off as lame, out-of-tune dinosaurs. The latest such bout of vendidismo happened earlier this week, when Antonio Gonzalez, the president of the once-prestigious William C. Velasquez Institute, and longtime OC warrior Nativ
OC Weekly

Plastic Bags Are Now Banned In California— So What Does That Mean For Huntington Beach?

Pepe Trump's victory and the legalization of cannabis in California have dominated the California media, but one of the biggest election wins that we're already seeing the effects of is Proposition 67: the ban of single-use plastic bags. As of November 9th, grocery stores, farmers markets, mini marts, gas stations, pharmacies, convenience stores and liquor stores are banned from packaging customers items in plastic bags. And unless you bring your own, you'll have to pay a dime for paper. So if t
OC Weekly

Five Reasons Spraying Pesticides Over OC for Mosquito Control is a Terrible Idea

Cases of Zika and West Nile Virus have made headlines around the world over the last several months. And recently, some of those headlines have focused on instances of the mosquito-borne diseases in Southern California: 24 cases of Zika have so far been reported in LA County and 23 in San Diego county. That means Orange County is sandwiched between two Zika-positive places. So how do we protect ourselves? Officials from the Orange County Vector Control District (OCVCD) believe the best way to c
OC Weekly

More Hurdles for Poseidon' Surf City Desalination Plant

[UPDATE 12:30 pm:] Robert Hunter, the General Manager of the Municipal Water District of Orange County, wrote us an email emphasizing the Board of Directors did not vote against selling Poseidon water. According to Hunter, the MWDOC Board of Directors decided on Feb. 5th that "a joint resolution and new committee were not necessary because they already have a bi-monthly, joint, public meeting to collaborate on water issues." In other words, they took no action on the proposed resolution to help
OC Weekly

Coastal Commission Denies Poseidon's Request To Waive Permit Application Fee

The California Coastal Commission met last Friday in San Louis Obispo to discuss a handful of topics, but the only one we cared about is the proposed Huntington Beach desalination plant. Poseidon Water, the company hoping to build the desal facility, requested that the Coastal Commission waive a coastal development permit application fee that would cost them an estimated $286,649. Although the agency's regulations allow the executive director to waive an application fee when requested by resolu
OC Weekly

Municipal Water District of Orange County Says We're No Longer in Emergency State of Drought

Enough rain has fallen this winter to keep Orange County from being in an emergency state of drought, according to the Municipal Water District of Orange County (MWDOC). Yesterday the MWDOC Board of Directors unanimously declared an end to emergency drought conditions, and they're urging the state to halt the emergency regulations that are currently in place, as well. While the State Water Resources Control Board has mulled over extending special regulations under the drought state of emergency