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Heal the Bay Blog

Author: Alex Choy

It’s time for Coastal Cleanup Day 2019!

Looking to give back and create cleaner and more vibrant communities alongside thousands of your neighbors? Join us on Saturday, September 21 for our biggest cleanup of the year. It’s Heal the Bay’s 30th year coordinating Coastal Cleanup Day in Los Angeles County. For our anniversary, we’ll be upping our game with more than 70 cleanup sites – inland, coastal, habitat restoration and underwater – to volunteer at, a Sock Drive at our Santa Monica sites in support of people experiencing homelessness and free admission to our Heal the Bay Aquarium for all participants.

Our 70+ cleanup sites are located throughout L.A. County, ranging from wildlife habitat restoration areas such as the coastal dunes under the LAX flight path, to the L.A. River and San Gabriel River areas, and lots of places in between.

  • Inland sites include Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook, Ballona Creek Bike Path, L.A. River, Lake Balboa, Sepulveda Basin Wildlife Reserve, Madea Creek, Avalon Gardens, Arroyo Seco, Compton Creek, Elysian Valley Gateway Park, Ken Malloy Harbor Regional Park, Koreatown, Pacoima, Hyde Park Boulevard, San Fernando and Santa Clarita.
  • Coastal sites include Catalina Island, Dockweiler Beach, Hermosa Beach, Long Beach, Malibu, Manhattan Beach, Marina del Rey, Pacific Palisades, Palos Verdes peninsula, Playa del Rey, Redondo Beach, San Gabriel, San Pedro, Santa Monica, Torrance, Topanga and Venice.
  • Habitat restoration sites include the LAX Dunes and the Ballona Wetlands Ecological Reserve, Alta Vicente Reserve, Medea Creek and Gardena Willows Wetland Preserve.
  • Underwater sites include Malibu Pier, Leo Carrillo State Beach, Redondo County Beach, Dockweiler State Beach and the Santa Monica Pier.

See all of our cleanup sites on our handy map and sign up.


Our Watershed Connects Us All

We are wild for L.A., which is why we mobilize thousands of volunteers to participate on this single day of action. Our combined efforts remove trash and debris from the natural environment by the ton and help protect local biodiversity across our watershed.

Can you find the “LA” hidden within the river on the poster?

Our Coastal Cleanup Day 2019 poster, created by local artist and illustrator Aaron Gonzalez, celebrates local wildlife species found right here in L.A. County, and highlights how our winding waterways connect many unique habits from summit to sea. It’s critical that we protect all of our local habitats, animals and communities.

Download and share our poster in English, Spanish, and Korean using the hashtags #healthebay and #coastalcleanupday.


Helpful Tips for Coastal Cleanup Day

  • Try carpooling, ridesharing, biking or taking mass transit to avoid parking and traffic jams – and, please arrive early.
  • “BYO”—Help us reduce waste by bringing your own buckets, reusable bags and gloves to pick up trash. However, cleanup supplies will be available at each site.
  • Bring a reusable water bottle and wear sun block, a hat and sunglasses.
  • If you’re coming with a big group, have everyone print and sign waivers in advance. It speeds up check-in!
  • We’re organizing a Sock Drive, at our Santa Monica sites, in support of people experiencing homelessness. You can drop off new and gently used socks, which will be donated to West Coast Care.
  • When you take part in Coastal Cleanup Day you get FREE admission to our Heal the Bay Aquarium under the Santa Monica Pier.
  • We’ve launched a Change.org petition that urges the California Senate and Assembly to approve the California Circular Economy and Plastic Pollution Reduction Act. Over 410,000 signatures have been gathered so far and our goal is to reach 500,000 by Coastal Cleanup Day. Add your name!

For even more details, check out our event page.



Thank you to all our sponsors and organizers for supporting Coastal Cleanup Day 2019



Every year, Heal the Bay staff scientists assign A-to-F letter grades to beaches all along the California coast. These grades are based on bacteria pollution and help inform public health. This year, 94% of 500 California beaches received an A or B grade for the busy summer season. However, several beaches are on our list of no-goes.

We’re announcing our 2018-2019 Beach Bummers List, a ranking of the 10 most polluted beaches in the state based on levels of harmful bacteria. This year, 5 of the 10 Beach Bummers are from Southern California, including Cabrillo Beach (harborside) and Marina del Rey Mother’s Beach in L.A. County.

Polluted ocean waters are a significant health risk to beach-goers. We encourage all beach-goers to use this list (and our Beach Report Card) when planning a trip to the ocean! Because a day at the beach shouldn’t make anyone sick.

Read the Beach Report Card highlights

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5. Cowell Beach, Santa Cruz County (Photo Credit: Suzanne Healy)

How to stay safe at the beach

  • Check beachreportcard.org for latest water quality grades (available on iOS & Android)
  • Avoid shallow, enclosed beaches with poor water circulation
  • Swim at least 100 yards away from flowing storm drains, creeks, and piers
  • Stay out of the water for at least 72-hours after a rain event

Coming into contact with beach water that has a grade of C or lower greatly increases the risk of contracting illnesses such as stomach flu, ear infections, upper respiratory infections, and rashes. For a detailed look at beach results by location, why some beaches are more vulnerable to higher levels of pollution, and more information, refer to our complete report.

Read the full Beach Report Card

Read the summary en Español



Photo by Dan Do-Linh

And just like that another Heal the Bay Gala has come and gone.

Yesterday, Heal the Bay welcomed hundreds of guests to the ultimate beach party. Our annual Bring Back the Beach Gala recognizes the fearless leaders who have helped make real progress toward a healthier natural environment in L.A, and celebrates the victories Heal the Bay has achieved. This year, we honored the eco-accomplishments of Los Angeles County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl, and the lasting legacy and support of KROQ.

View Gala Photo Gallery

The event started with guests arriving in their white beach-chic attire and walking the signature blue carpet. A mobile tank from Heal the Bay Aquarium offered a deeper look at some local marine animals and wildlife. After a sweet cocktail party, thrilling live auction, and scrumptious dinner and dessert (the donuts!), we danced the night away to the incredible James Gang band, right on the sand and beneath the stars, and guests enjoyed a fun photo booth provided by CEG Interactive.

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Photo by Nicola Buck

K-Swiss, our event sponsor, even announced their sneaker collaboration with us! It was a wonderful night of making waves, celebrating the great work being done, and creating a sustainable water future in L.A. County.

heal the bay k-swiss

Our wonderful community of supporters also included Bonnie Wright, Harry Potter actor and environmentalist, Ser’Darius Blain, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle actor, Jason Lewis, Sex and the City actor and model, Victoria Konefal, Days of Our Lives actor, Andrew Walker, actor, Jackson Dollinger, Disney’s Sydney to the Max actor, and -of course- Amy Smart Oosterhouse and Sharon Lawrence, actors and our Heal the Bay Board Members. And although he could not be in attendance, our long-time friend and wavemaker, Jeff Bridges, also cheered us on with a special video message!

A final thank you to our dynamic team of Heal the Bay volunteers, staff, Board, our incredible photographers, Dan Do-Linh and Nicola Buck, our brilliant event producer Natalie McAdams of NAMEVENTS and all of the gracious staff at the Jonathan Club.


Thanks to ALL of our Bring Back the Beach Gala 2019 Sponsors & Partners

Heal the Bay Gala 2019 Sponsors

Thank you to our official airline partner, American Airlines



The perfect spot for a beautiful walk, throwing a frisbee, de-stressing, digging your toes in the sand, volunteering, and much, much more. With warm weather on the way (and the beach just a Metro ride away) there are plenty of reasons to go to the beach – check out our list of things to do below!

 

1. For a relaxation day

 

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2. For the fresh air

 

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3. To foster a love of the ocean in your kids

 

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4. To soak up the sunshine

 

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5. To get a workout in

 

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6. For family time

 

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7. For some great beach games

 

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8. To take a mental break

 

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9. To do some people watching

 

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10. For a fun day with the kids

 

11. To spend quality time with friends

 

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12. To surf

 

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13. To take cute photos galore

 

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14. To play in the waves

 

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15. To listen to the waves

 

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16. To explore and reconnect with nature

 

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17. For the gorgeous sunrises and sunsets

 

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18. For a date

 

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19. To get in the mood for summer!

 

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To all our beach-lovers out there: we’ve created a new app to help you decide which beach is the safest and healthiest to go to!

We believe that no one should get sick from a day at the beach. But, it’s hard to keep track of how the rains, currents, and pollution affect your favorite beach spot. That’s why we’ve created our simple, yet comprehensive Beach Report Card with NowCast. It gives you the latest water quality ratings of beaches all along the West Coast.

So we’ll leave choosing a reason to go to the beach up to you, but we’ve got your back on picking which is the safest for you, your family, and your friends.