The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors will decide July 17 (formerly July 10) whether to place a public funding measure (The Safe, Clean Water Program) on the November ballot to increase stormwater capture throughout our region.
The measure would raise $300 million for such nature-based water quality amenities as green streets, multi-benefit parks and revitalized wetlands.
Keep harmful bacteria and trash from ruining your favorite beaches.
Protect the animals that call the Bay home from gross runoff and plastic pollution.
Provide a supply of reliable and locally sourced water as climate change worsens.
We have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to rethink L.A.’s outdated water model and better prepare for an increasingly arid future.
We need YOU to attend the public hearing with us on July 17, 2018 to encourage the Board to place this water-saving measure on the ballot. RSVP here, and wear your favorite blue shirt to show your support!
“My name is (your name), from (city) and (zip code). I stand with Heal the Bay and the OurWaterLA coalition in full support of The Safe, Clean Water Program, which could raise $300 Million every year for nature-based stormwater capture projects. I hope we can count on you, to vote YES at the Public Hearing on July 17th, in support of this important measure.”
Please vote YES on The Safe, Clean Water Program, a public funding measure for nature-based water quality projects in L.A. County #OurWaterLA @SheilaKuehl @mridleythomas @HildaSolis @SupJaniceHahn @kathrynbarger
Heal the Bay is taking part in the third annual City Nature Challenge! The competition runs from April 27-30, so you can make observations the entire weekend.
The City Nature Challenge is a four-day competition between major cities to see who can make the most observations of nature, identify a variety of species, and engage their residents in a BioBlitz. This year, over 60 cities are competing on six continents.
Heal the Bay is hosting a BioBlitz at Malibu Lagoon State Beach, which is part of a region with high biodiversity and high risk of habitat loss. Malibu Lagoon is a tidal lagoon, and one of the few wetland habitats in Southern California. The lagoon has faced tremendous pressure from development in the surrounding area causing the ecosystem to become impaired. From 2012-2013, Malibu Lagoon underwent a substantial habitat restoration, which makes it a fascinating area to study for theBioBlitz.
We are primarily using the iNaturalist app in thisBioBlitz, though submissions are also accepted through Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and email. The iNaturalist app is easy to use: snap a photo of wildlife and animals and it will make species ID suggestions for you. If none of them fit, upload the photo and members of the community will make recommendations for you. Remember to use the hashtag #NatureinLA when posting on social media or email your observations to email@example.com.
Join Heal the Bay for ourBioBlitz on April 28th! We will begin with an overview of the City Nature Challenge, iNaturalist, and a brief beach cleanup to incorporate site stewardship into our biodiversity project. The event begins at 1pm and ends at 4pm with a raffle for all participants. During that span of time, the tide in the lagoon will be lowering and we’ll search for sea stars, anemones, and chitons in the tide pools. If you can, please download the iNaturalist app before arriving at our cleanup. More info can be found at inaturalist.org.
#NationalVolunteerWeek starts on April 15 and we’re getting an early start on saying thanks to the awesome Heal the Bay and Santa Monica Pier Aquarium volunteers who go above and beyond!
Our work at Heal the Bay wouldn’t be possible without our volunteers. Every year we host an awards party to recognize our most dedicated volunteers: Super Healers. Earlier this year in March, we gathered our fintastic Heal the Bay volunteers and staff went back in time to the 80’s for an Under the Sea prom-themed Volunteer Party. It was an evening well spent with funny costumes, jellyfish floating above our heads, silly props for photo booth pictures, and ocean-inspired activities.
We can’t forget about the real all-stars of the night: our 2018 Super Healers.
These individuals truly go above and beyond their volunteer roles. They inspire others in their community, they bring amazing technology advancements to Heal the Bay, they are involved in multiple Heal the Bay volunteer programs, and they are always eager and enthusiastic.
This year, we awarded one Jean Howell Award, and thirteen Super Healer Awards. Read more about these exceptional individuals below:
Susan Lang (Jean Howell Award)
Susan’s introduction to Heal the Bay began in high school when she was given class assignment to create a presentation about Santa Monica Bay’s water quality. She made her way to the then one room Heal the Bay headquarters where a very helpful staff member gave her armfuls of data. That class assignment and the information she obtained from Heal the Bay sparked her commitment to environmental issues and the health of the Bay. She trained to be a beach captain and eventually expanded her support to several Bring Back the Beach Galas and Suits on the Sand events as well as helping out with Nick Gabaldon Day, doing community outreach for Prop 67 and lending her theatrical crafting skills to Straw-less Summer Campaign. Recently she completed Speakers Bureau training and looks forward to her next Heal the Bay project!
Jim LaVally (Speakers Bureau)
Jim, who has spent nearly 40 years in LA-area newsrooms, including at the Los Angeles Times, joined Heal the Bay as a volunteer in 2016.
Retirement allowed Jim to pursue a role in environmental advocacy, a longtime wish, and Heal the Bay was the perfect fit. He was familiar with Heal the Bay’s track record of environmental successes. Its mission also meshed nicely with Jim’s interests in natural history, geography and resource conservation.
Finally, by joining the Speakers Bureau, Jim hoped to achieve another goal: overcoming a sweat-inducing, bone-chilling fear of public speaking. And for helping him do exactly that, Jim will always hold a special place in his heart for Heal the Bay.
Grace Young (Street Fleet)
Grace’s first encounters with the ocean were the childhood trips to San Pedro tide pools. There she was wowed by a humongous darting octopus escaping to deeper waters during low tide. She has been in love with the ocean ever since. Her first volunteering experience with Heal the Bay started at a few Nothin’ but Sand clean ups in 2015. Eventually she wanted to take a more initiative approach in educating the public about how awesome our coast is, in tabling events and as a Beach Captain. Even though she works in the fashion industry, she would like to dedicate her career to marine conservation. Once said in Moana “Once you know what you like, well there you are”. Her dream job is to study tide pool ecosystems and implement less damaging activities in the area.
Nazeeg Mahserejian (Wednesday Warriors)
Naz first began volunteering at Heal the Bay in April 2017, as a Wednesday Warrior. Her most memorable projects have included the preparations for the Heal the Bay annual gala centerpieces, and the preparation and reparation on the straw monster costume for the Strawless Summer campaign, creating the hat and cup using the most chewed up, gnarly straws found during Heal the Bay’s monthly Nothin’ but Sand beach cleanups. Naz enjoys volunteering for Heal the Bay because of their mission to keep the beaches clean, and the wonderful, interesting, diverse people she’s met on Wednesdays. The projects are usually artsy, fun, and challenging. She looks forward to continue challenging herself, volunteering for Heal the Bay and meeting people of all ages, disciplines and backgrounds. And she’s also a beach captain!
Patty Jimenez (Community Leader)
Patty has been a teacher at Bell Gardens High School for 20 years and advisor to the Environmental Club for 17 years. Her students don’t have the luxuries other students take for granted, but what they do possess in abundance is passion and concern for others. She loves the outdoors and has learned to appreciate it because her parents exposed her to nature through camping, hiking and traveling. Unfortunately, many students at Bell Gardens High School haven’t had those same experiences and she tries to bridge the gap as much as she can. Her hope is that as they grow, they will become involved outside of their community, and ultimately will learn to appreciate what she grew up loving and is now fighting to protect. Her students are involved locally: by improving the campus within the City of Bell Gardens, and were also instrumental in passing a city ordinance banning smoking in all public parks and regionally, with the support of Heal the Bay and Generation Earth/Tree People. With Patty’s leadership, her students have learned that they can have a tremendous impact on the health and well-being of our people and environment.
Ian Kimbrey Beach Programs
Ian transplanted to Santa Monica in 1979. He is a lifelong environmentalist, recycler and trash picker-upper. His long-suffering wife, Joanne, says he can ruin a perfectly good beach walk by always picking up trash. He is famous (infamous) for approaching random strangers on the shore and asking them to consider picking up at least one piece of trash before they leave the beach.
Ian started volunteering at Heal the Bay in 2016 as a Wednesday Warrior. He worked his way up from “bottle-washer’s bottle-washer”, to “deputy to the assistant bottle-washer-in-chief”.
Our previous Beach Programs Manager, Zoe, greatly praised Ian. To quote her: “He’s been a kick butt volunteer for both Suits on the Sand cleanups and Nothin’ but Sand cleanups. He has a great energy about him and does a fantastic job of engaging cleanup volunteers whether they’re from a corporation or young ones, plus he’s always up to date with the latest environmental news and likes to use props and articles in his beach talks. I was super fortunate to have such a dedicated volunteer to help facilitate cleanups and give advice about ways to make the beach programs more efficient, and I hope he continues to provide the same unwavering support to Heal the Bay’s beach programs in the coming year.”
Ian is currently working on a completely organic, re-usable drinking straw called “The Final Straw” as it is the last straw you will ever need!
Sowgand (Sue) Baharloo (Santa Monica Pier Aquarium All Star)
Sue’s life dream is to study and work with animals. In fact, she wants to learn everything and anything she can about our planet: its wonders, its vast oceans, and the beautiful animals that inhabit it. Her passion led her to volunteer at the Santa Monica Pier Aquarium in October 2016. A year and a half later she says that volunteering at the aquarium has given her an amazing foundation – she has learned so much and has been given the tools and opportunities to stand up for our local marine animals.
Sue is an All-Star SMPA because she knows everything about the aquarium. She can tell you about any animal we have, read a great story during story time, lead thrilling sea star feedings, and never fails to greet you with a smile when you walk through the entrance. You’ll feel like you’ve known her your whole life because very quickly you’ll be nicknamed as one of her “loves” or “honey’s”. Sue is excited to continue building her experience at the aquarium.
Taj Lalwani (Santa Monica Pier Aquarium Public Programs)
Taj has been fascinated with animals since a young age. He is passionate about protecting all the amazing life than lives on this planet, so he started volunteering at Heal the Bay because he wanted more children to care about animals and wildlife.
He loves his experience at the aquarium. To ensure that other Public Program volunteers at Santa Monica Pier Aquarium also have a positive experience he is working on a project analyzing long-term volunteer experiences, which began with a volunteer survey. He wants to work in marine or land ecology and conservation when he grows up.
Laura Schare (MPA Watch)
Laura’s love affair with the ocean began as young girl when she first watched Jacques Cousteau, a marine documentary pioneer who quickly became my science Super-hero. Although she didn’t develop a career around the ocean, she did finally circle back as an adult to volunteer with both Heal the Bay and Santa Monica Pier Aquarium. Laura first became involved with Heal the Bay through iNaturalist and was invited to a bioblitz at Malibu Lagoon. Shortly thereafter, she became an MPA Watch volunteer and then joined the Aquarium education team. Ask Laura about iNaturalist and Citizen Science, she would love to share her passion for all things nature, especially our beloved oceans.
Zehner Group (Advocacy)
Here’s the secret to any good nonprofit advocacy campaign. Go to a creative agency and find the frustrated but brilliant surfer. That’s what we did when we hooked up with Mick McCarthy at the Zehner Group to help us devise a clever, catchy campaign for our “Strawless Summer Campaign.” Working with his partner, Hany Zayan, Mick helped us build a microsite and social media campaign that encouraged visitors to take the pledge to go strawless. They cleverly reminded us all that LA SUCKS as long as we keep using single-use plastics. Thanks to their hard work, we built public momentum for a number of new measures, such as Malibu’s recent decision to make straws available on a request-basis only.
Alex Warham (Communications)
Alex Warham has brought a virtual paradise to our Santa Monica Pier Aquarium. As the brains behind Diatom Productions, Alex donated many hours of creativity to us last year in helping us launch a virtual reality-style exhibit at the Aquarium. His crew captured footage of Heal the Bay staff diving off Marine Protected Areas (MPA) in Catalina and created a series of 360-degree films that show what an MPA really looks like. Our guests can now don goggles and dive in MPAs without ever getting wet! His gripping images will wow, inspire and motivate Aquarium visitors for years to come. If a picture is worth a thousand words, his images are worth a million!
Nicola Buck (Outreach)
Nicola Buck is an L.A.-based photographer with a unique eye and a big heart. She helps Heal the Bay tell our vibrant story through photography. Nicola volunteers at countless events, including our Gala, Coastal Cleanup Day, and Explore Ballona series. Her photographs capture the joy, curiosity and teamwork that energize our community of volunteers, advocates, donors and Aquarium visitors. Thanks to Nicola’s compelling work for Heal the Bay, we have reached more people in our social media and digital channels, especially Instagram (follow Nicola at @lapicnic)!
Luann Laval Williams (Board Member)
In case you didn’t know, all Heal the Bay Board members are volunteers. They don’t get paid to keep our doors open. Luann has been involved with Heal the Bay since she attended her first benefit dinner in 1997. Since then, she has been the Chairperson for Development, a Chairperson for a number of benefit dinners, is one of the agency’s most dedicated fundraisers and played a key role in Heal the Bay taking ownership of the Santa Monica Pier Aquarium. Luann brings a high level of energy, enthusiasm, creativity and FUN to everything she does. Additionally, Luann has introduced Heal the Bay to dozens of people who share our commitment to the ocean and who have since become strong advocates and donors.
Her advice to others thinking about volunteering: “When I came to Heal the Bay, I was just starting to get involved in the community. Heal the Bay helped me realize that I could make a difference in something as huge as keeping the ocean clean and safe. It’s a powerful thing to believe that you have something to bring to the table. I still have the excitement and enthusiasm for Heal the Bay now that I did when I first joined the Board”.
Friends of Ballona (Super Science Support)
Established in 1978, Friends of Ballona Wetland’s mission is to champion the restoration and protection of the Ballona Wetlands, involving and educating the public as advocates and stewards. Their primary objective is to inform and empower visitors of all ages. Through their educational tours, Explore Ballona! K-12 curricula, and restoration projects, the Friends help their neighbors and students from throughout the Greater Los Angeles area acquire the knowledge needed to take action to reduce negative human environmental impacts. Heal the Bay was honored to join forces with the Friends this past year in efforts to analyze, review, and comment on the Draft Environmental Impact Report for the restoration of the Ballona Wetlands. As a Coalition, we advocated for a robust restoration of Ballona Wetlands that was based in strong science. The Friends showed true leadership and vision in our Wetlands Coalition as well as provided critical hands-on opportunities for the public to visit and engage with the Wetlands.
Los estudiantes del Club Heal the Bay tendrán una noche de película este viernes 13 de abril en el acuario para ayudar a celebrar este mes del Planeta. También habrá una exposición virtual cual solo estará en exposición esa noche. Por cierto, cada viernes a las 2:30 p.m. ustedes pueden darles de comer a las estrellas del mar en nuestro Acuario y a la vez aprender más de los hábitats marinos locales.
Acompáñenos y a cientos de voluntarios locales en proteger lo que amamos – las playas y el océano. No se necesita talentos o experiencia – solo un cariño al mar y las animales cual le llaman casa. Los participantes de la limpieza también recibirán la entrada gratis a nuestro Acuario.
¡Vengan a conocer los animales marinos locales! Tenemos tiburones pequeños, caballitos del mar, langostas, anguilas, y docenas de otras especies cuales pueden explorar. Relájense con nuestras sesiones de cuentos, y asómbrense con nuestras exposiciones de polución este fin de semana.
Haga su donación del Mes del Planeta
¿Quiere hacer un impacto cual durara todo el año? Considere hacer una pequeña donación a nuestros programas de ciencia y póliza. Una donación de $50 paga por la monitorización de la calidad de agua en una playa impactada por polución en el Sur de California.
En honor al Mes del Planeta, les ofrecemos una lista breve cual contiene los retos más desafiantes que enfrentan nuestros océanos – y lo que se puede hacer este mes y el resto del año para hacer una diferencia.
Se estima que habrá más plástico que peces en los océanos del mundo en el año 2050.
En los últimos 33 años, los voluntarios de Heal the Bay han removido más de 2 millones de libras de basura de nuestras costas. La basura asociada con bebidas como: pajas, botellas de agua de plástico, y contenedores de poliestireno, son los más comunes cual se encuentran en las limpiezas de Heal the Bay.
Por esa razón Heal the Bay estará lanzando la campana #FoamFree este mes en cual usted puede decirle “No Gracias” a las pajas, botes de agua de plástico, y al poliestireno. Hablen con su bolsillo – ¡intenten remplazar el plástico o poliestireno con utensilios alternativos reusables!
De acuerdo a la Encuesta de Geológica de E.E. U.U, el condado de Los Ángeles está en riesgo de perder alrededor de la mitad de sus playas para el año 2100 debido a la erosión costera relacionada con el calentamiento del océano.
Reduciendo nuestro impacto ambiental es un esfuerzo sumamente complicado cual requiere acuerdos multi-nacionales – pero si hay pasos cual se pueden tomar en su vida diaria que pueden ayudar a reducir el impacto al océano. Como consumidores, podemos empezar a realizar cambio en nuestros modos de transportación, igual que con nuestras opciones de comida. So no son vegetarianos o vegano, piensen en remplazar la carne una vez a la semana, talvez tener un “lunes sin Carne.” Si tienen un carro, piensen en tomar transporte publico una vez a la semana o organice un viaje compartido con amigos, familia, o compañero de trabajo.
LA SOBRE PESCA
Aproximadamente, 90% de las poblaciones de peces depredadores grandes han desaparecido mundialmente.
Además, más de la mitad de las poblaciones de peces han sido maximizadas. Esto significa que deberíamos de comer menos en la cadena alimentaria del océano. Aparte de la tuna, el salmo, y el halibut, existen muchas más especies de pez cual pueden ser consumidos. Es tiempo de ampliar nuestro paladar, y el océano nos agradecerá.
EL SUMINISTRO DE AGUA
El 80% de basura e bacteria cual es encontrada en las costas del condado de Los Ángeles es acabo de la escorrentía urbana.
Hasta en los días más secos y calientes del verano, un estimado de 100 millones de galones de escorrentía contaminada fluye hacia el océano vía los drenajes de tormenta del condado de Los Ángeles. La corriente contiene desechos humanos e de animal, químicos y fertilizantes, gasolina, plástico, y embalaje y los deposita directamente al océano. Para reducir su flujo, Heal the Bay sugiere que remplace su césped con opciones más ecológicas, que use un lavacoches de la vecindad (la mayoría reciclan agua) en vez de lavar los carros en casa, e instalar barriles en su propiedad cual puedan capturar el agua en vez de mandarla directo al océano.
Al nivel más amplio, el condado de Los Ángeles necesita hacer un mejor trabajo de capturando e reusando el agua cual ya tenemos. Se necesita construir una infraestructura cual capturara las aguas pluviales y reciclara las aguas residuales. Heal the Bay está trabajando en una medida publica cual estará en los boletos de votación este Noviembre.
Earth Day is April 22, and we’re celebrating with a month full of events in greater Los Angeles. In honor of Earth Month, here’s a snapshot look at the biggest challenges facing our oceans – and what you can do this month and year-round to make a difference.
PLASTIC: It’s estimated that there will be more plastic by mass than fish in the world’s oceans by 2050.
Drink-related trash forms the bulk of human-made debris found at Heal the Bay cleanups, accounting for over one third of all items found on L.A. County beaches.
In the last 33 years, Heal the Bay volunteers have removed more than 2 million pounds of trash from our shores – that’s the weight of two fully loaded 747 passenger jets! This summer, Heal the Bay will launch a #FoamFree campaign,but you can get started today by saying “No thanks” to polystyrene to-go containers, single-use straws, and plastic water bottles. Go reusable instead.
CLIMATE: L.A. County could lose more than half of its beaches by 2100 due to coastal erosion related to warming seas, according to a U.S. Geological Survey.
Reducing our carbon footprint is obviously a complicated endeavor involving multi-national agreements, but there are steps you can take in your daily life to reduce your impact on the sea. Transportation and food choices are an obvious place to start as a consumer. If you aren’t a vegetarian or vegan, think about skipping meat one day a week, maybe on “Meatless Mondays”. If you still own a car, think about taking public transit one day a week or coordinating a carpool.
OVERFISHING: Approximately 90 percent of fish stocks of large predatory fish like tuna have disappeared globally.
And more than half of all fish stocks have been maximized. That means we should all eat lower down on the ocean food chain. There is much more to fine dining from the sea than limiting yourself to tuna, salmon and halibut! Widen your palate, and the ocean will thank you. Check out Monterey Bay Aquarium’s seafood guide.
WATER SUPPLY: Urban runoff accounts for 80 percent of the trash and bacteria found on L.A. County shorelines.
Even on the driest, hottest summer day, an estimated 100 million gallons of polluted runoff flows to ocean via L.A. County’s massive stormdrain system.That flow carries a sickening slurry of animal and human waste, chemicals and fertilizers, automotive fluid, fast-food packaging and single-use plastics to the sea. To reduce your flow, Heal the Bay suggests you rip out water-thirsty lawns in favor of native landscaping, use a neighborhood carwash (most recycle water) instead of hosing down cars on driveways, and installing rain barrels or cisterns on your property to capture water instead of sending it uselessly to the sea.
At a macro level, L.A. County needs to do a better job of capturing and reusing the water we already have by building infrastructure that captures stormwater and recycles treated wastewater. Heal the Bay is now working to get a public funding measure on the November ballot to build “green street”-style projects in greater L.A.
Get Involved with Heal the Bay this Earth Month
Here is a list of awesome Earth Month and Earth Day events in greater Los Angeles.
ENJOY: Movie Night at the Aquarium Friday, April 13, 5:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Club Heal the Bay students will host a special Friday the 13th movie night at the Aquarium to help kick off Earth Month and Earth Day celebrations. There will be a special virtual experience on exhibit that night only. By the way, every Friday at 2:30 p.m. you can feed the sea stars at our Aquarium and learn more about local underwater habitats.
ACT: Earth Day Beach Cleanup at the Santa Monica Pier Saturday, April 21, 10 a.m. to Noon
Join hundreds of local volunteers in protecting what we all love – our beaches and ocean. No special talent or experience required – just a soft spot for the Bay and the animals that call it home. Cleanup participants also get free admission to our nearby Aquarium.
EXPLORE: Earth Day Celebration at our Santa Monica Pier Aquarium Saturday, April 21, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Come meet the locals – all the creatures that live in the ocean right off the L.A. coastline. We’ve got small sharks, sea horses, lobsters, moray eels and dozens of other species to investigate. Relax during our story-time sessions, and get grossed out by our pollution exhibits at this special Earth Day celebration weekend.
WATCH: Earth Focus Environmental Film Festival Saturday, April 21, 9:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.
KCET and Link TV Present an all-day festival of films at Laemmle Monica Film Center in Santa Monica on Saturday, April 21 in celebration of Earth Day. The event is family friendly and features local environmental organizations, live Q&As with directors and celebrity-introduced acclaimed films about the environment.
CELEBRATE: Golden Road x Heal the Bay Earth Day Pop Up Sunday, April 22, Noon – 10 p.m.
On Earth Day, we plan to celebrate our partnership with Golden Road, and you are invited to join us. Check out our Earth Day Pop Up at The Rose Room in Venice. We’ll have an open gallery space featuring local art from Noon to 4 p.m. and a celebratory evening event from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. with food and commemorative glassware. Delicious Golden Road brews will be available for 21+ all day.
CONNECT: Sustainable Quality Awards 2018 Thursday, April 26, 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Connect and network with sustainably-minded business leaders, recognize achievements, enjoy sustainable gourmet bites from local establishments and sources, and hear from keynote speaker, Dr. Paul Bunje, Chief Scientist and VP at XPrize.
DOCUMENT: City Nature Challenge: Malibu Lagoon BioBlitz Saturday, April 28, 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.
Put on your citizen scientist hat – it’s BioBlitz time. The City Nature Challenge is a competition between major cities to see who can make the most observations of nature, find the most species, and engage their residents in the worldwide BioBlitz. Help us represent greater Los Angeles. Install the iNaturalist app, or bring your camera, and head outside with us in Malibu.
DISCOVER: Lecture & Panel: Old Shells, New Insights for Santa Monica Bay Sunday, April 29, 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.
If these shells could talk… Shells sampled from the top of the seafloor can help us decipher human impacts in our southern California coastal waters. Shelley Luce, Heal the Bay’s president, will speak on this topic on a panel with the Surfrider Foundation and California Department of Fish and Wildlife. The thought-provoking discussion will be moderated by Mark Gold (UCLA Associate Vice Chancellor for Environment and Sustainability and Past President of Heal the Bay), and is set to follow a lively lecture by Dr. Kidwell.
PLAY: More Bubbles – Sparkling Wine Tasting Friday, May 4, 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Heal the Bay is the non profit partner for the EFFERVESCENCE 2018 More Bubbles event, which will transform the historic Avalon Hollywood nightclub into a special tasting experience, with sparkling wines from every corner of the globe, including California’s finest fizz. This event isn’t happening in April, but proceeds benefit Heal the Bay – and, you can book your tickets during Earth Month. 😉
Make Your Earth Month Donation
Want to make an impact that lasts all year? Consider making a small donation to our award-winning science and policy programs. A gift of $50 pays for summer water-quality monitoring at one pollution-impacted beach in Southern California.
65 Days have passed since the White House first announced their new offshore drilling plan — a dangerous proposal that places nearly all U.S. coastal communities, businesses and wildlife at risk.
Since then, so much has happened. The list of critical issues that require our nation’s unfettered attention and tactful action is long. Our efforts to advocate for what is right are being stretched and tested.
Steadfast we must be, and Heal the Bay has never been more determined to fight for a future that we know is not only possible – but prosperous for all. Over the last few weeks, we have joined our partners in the local community and state to REJECT the Trump administration’s offshore drilling draft proposal.
On Friday, March 9, Heal the Bay submitted its public comment to U.S. federal officials.
It’s been a wild 10-weeks that led up to this point, so let’s take a quick look back. Below is a timeline of our offshore drilling campaign, as told through Tweets.
WEEK 1: On Thursday, January 4, Ryan Zinke, the United States Secretary of the Interior, rang in the New Year with a slick announcement for big oil and gas. Adding our voice to the chorus of ocean protectors nationwide, Heal the Bay quickly responds.
The LA Times' Steve Lopez spent the morning with us on our boat touring the Bay. He gets why Trump's push to expand offshore drilling is moronic. Read his column.https://t.co/Cmv8CNjob2
WEEK 3: As we got the word out on the West Coast, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management “BOEM” kicked off a series of public meetings – one in each coastal U.S. state – with the first three meetings happening in Maryland, Mississippi and Delaware.
WEEK 4: The U.S. government shutdown in January postponed BOEM’s public meetings for two weeks. Frustrated by an increasingly inadequate public process, we teamed up with a dynamic and diverse group of local organizers and officials in L.A. County to coordinate a day of action against offshore drilling.
WEEK 5: Thousands of Californians participated in the day of action on February 3 across the Golden State in Santa Monica, San Diego, San Luis Obispo, Laguna Beach, Ventura and Santa Cruz. Heal the Bay co-hosted the rally on Santa Monica Pier with hundreds of Angelenos, elected officials and community organizations. Our city faces numerous challenges with drilling and we were grateful to be joined by STAND-L.A. and other groups that oppose drilling in all Los Angeles neighborhoods.
Trump’s decision to open up the entire Atlantic & Pacific coasts to offshore oil drilling is an appalling giveaway to his wealthy friends in the oil & gas industry. This dangerous decision will put our ocean ecosystems at risk of devastating water pollution & oil spills. pic.twitter.com/eflkiRd6yi
WEEK 6: We traveled up to Sacramento for another rally, this time at the State Capitol Building. Then we attended the ONLY public meeting for California on February 8. BOEM’s public meetings were also held in Texas, Oregon and Florida.
WEEK 7: After two powerful rallies in California, we kept the momentum going in So Cal. Heal the Bay co-hosted a town hall on February 16 in Hermosa Beach – a city that successfully defeated big oil in recent years. BOEM’s public meetings were held in Connecticut, South Carolina, New Jersey and New York.
WEEK 8: As California’s Governor sat down with the Interior Secretary to discuss offshore drilling, Heal the Bay was in Sacramento alongside our partners at the State Capitol during Ocean Day CA, meeting with elected officials and their aides to discuss our concerns and policy solutions. BOEM held public meetings in Virginia, Alaska and Washington D.C.
WEEK 9: By now, the majority of coastal states have expressed deep concern and thousands of businesses and leaders have organized against the offshore drilling proposal. Public meetings with BOEM continued in North Carolina, Massachusetts, Georgia and Rhode Island.
WEEK 10: On Friday, March 9, the final moment that public comments would be accepted by U.S. officials had passed. We submitted Heal the Bay’s comment earlier and delivered our final petition with 125,000 signatures to BOEM. The final stretch of BOEM’s public meetings also wrapped up this week in New Hampshire, Washington, Louisiana, Maine and Alabama.
So what’s next? In many respects, this new fight against offshore drilling has just begun. We need to raise more dollars to increase our local advocacy and coalition work, to have a hand in policy, and to build enough strength to push back against federal overreach. Please donate to Heal the Bay today to help us keep up the fight against offshore drilling in the weeks, months and years ahead.
¿Sabían que 86% del agua de Los Ángeles es importada de otras áreas? Esto significa que el agua cual toma, usa para bañarse, e incluso usa para regar sus plantas, no es agua local.
Los Ángeles enfrenta grandes desafíos para garantizar el subministro de agua para los 4 millones habitantes de la ciudad.
Siendo una de las ciudades más grandes del mundo, todavía esperamos que alrededor de 500 mil personas lleguen a Los Ángeles en los próximos años. El crecimiento de nuestra población nos presentara nuevas oportunidades de desarrollo, pero también nuevos obstáculos.
Para asegurar un futuro próspero, debemos proteger lo que hace nuestra ciudad grandiosa: nuestro ambiente natural, nuestra economía diversa, y nuestros residentes cual ayudan al avance de la ciudad. Nuestra creatividad entretiene e inspira al resto del mundo, y por eso tenemos que asegurar que las futuras generaciones también puedan disfrutar de un espacio saludable y económicamente prospero que además sea ambientalmente sustentable.
¿Que es el Ciclo del Agua?
Con los recientes cambios climáticos, obteniendo agua para Los Ángeles se ha vuelto más complicado. Para entender el flujo de agua en Los Ángeles, primero se debe entender el ciclo de agua del planeta.
Durante millones de años el planeta ha hecho circular el agua acabo del ciclo del agua. El ciclo empieza cuando el sol calienta el océano y causa la evaporación del agua. Las moléculas de agua se condensan en formas de nubes y finalmente caen del cielo en forma de nieve o lluvia. El suelo absorbe casi toda el agua y la filtra atraves de capas de tierra y rocas para reponer el agua subterránea y el resto del agua fluye a los ríos y arroyos cual regresa el agua al océano para que empiece el ciclo otra vez.
Desafío en Los Ángeles
Los sistemas de alcantarillados pluviales de Los Ángeles están diseñados para mover el agua de las calles, lotes de estacionamientos y techos hacia el océano para evitar inundaciones. En un día típico de lluvia en Los Ángeles un promedio de 10 billones de agua—equivalente a 120 Rose Bowls—fluye por los alcantarillados pluviales recolectando basura y bacteria, cual es depositada directamente al océano. Esta es la causa principal de la contaminación marina en nuestro océano y también es una perdida enorme de agua dulce para nuestra región.
Los Ángeles: La Ciudad Esponja
Presentemente, la ciudad de Los Ángeles tiene más de un billón de agua subterránea almacenada en la región, pero solo 12% del agua para consumo humano viene del agua subterránea local. Debido a la contaminación de la cuenca de San Fernando solo se puede usar la mitad de la cuenca para abastecernos. Con planes de construir el centro de tratamiento de agua subterránea más grande del mundo, la ciudad de Los Ángeles planea limpiar las aguas contaminadas.
El gobierno local ha pedido una reducción del 50% de agua importada para el año 2025 y que 50% del agua sea local para el año 2035.
¿Cómo vamos a lograr estos cambios? La respuesta es simple: Capturando, Conservando, y Reutilizando. Nuestros líderes deben invertir en una construcción de obras públicas cual capture, limpie, filtre y recicle el agua que ya tenemos. Debemos absorber el agua cual es proveída por nuestro planeta y usarla para el sostenimiento de nuestra ciudad.
This article is part of the blog series, “Heal the Bay en Español” for our Spanish-speaking community. If you are interested in learning more about this topic in English, view more info on Los Angeles Stormwater and follow the #OurWaterLA hashtag on social media.
El 4 de enero el gobierno público un plan cual propone permitir la perforación petrolífera de la mayoría de las costas en los Estado Unidos. De acuerdo con el plan, se abrirían las costas de California para la perforación de gas y petróleo en 2019. En California la perforación petrolífera es sumamente impopular desde el desastroso evento en Santa Bárbara en 1969. ¡Alrededor de tres millones de galones de petróleo terminaron en las áreas más sensitivas del océano!
¡Este sábado, 3 de febrero tome acción y únase a la oposición de este plan en la manifestación en el muelle de Santa Mónica! Las playas nos pertenecen a todos, y este plan no solo podrá dañar nuestros océanos, también dañará nuestra calidad de aire. No podemos arriesgarnos a otro desastre, es nuestra responsabilidad proteger y preservar nuestro medioambiente.
La manifestación será en el muelle de Santa Mónica este sábado 3 de febrero del 2018 de las 10:00am hasta las 12:00pm.
El Departamento de Administración del Océano y Energía (BOEM) ha organizado SOLO UNA AUDIENCIA PUBLICA en Sacramento, California para dar más información acerca del plan—cual tomara acabo el 8 de febrero. Sometan un comentario público a BOEM y al Ministro de los Estados Unidos rechazando este plan cual drásticamente aumentara la perforación prolifera. El último día para someter un comentario será el 9 de marzo del 2018.
(Heal the Bay’s River Report Card Team – From Left to Right: John Silva, Christopher Zamora, Dr. Katherine Pease, Vanessa Granados, Yuris Delcid and Nelson Chabarria)
Revitalizing the L.A. River is one of our big goals for 2018. But what is water quality monitoring really like in this increasingly popular outdoor area? Heal the Bay’s River Report Card team, led by Dr. Katherine Pease, is responsible for bringing Angelenos the latest water quality grades from the L.A. River during the summer. The team shares their first-hand experiences below from last summer, including a behind-the-scenes video that takes YOU into the L.A. River during a monitoring trip.
River Reflections & Looking Ahead to Summer 2018
By Dr. Katherine Pease
Summer feels long over, but the memories are still fresh. This past summer marked the completion of our 3rd season of water quality monitoring at fresh water recreational areas in the Los Angeles River and our 4th season at popular swimming spots in Malibu Creek State Park.
The summer of 2017 was especially exciting because we launched our River Report Card, which grades sites based on bacterial pollution levels. We provided the public with weekly water quality information for 18 sites around L.A. County. In 2018, we will add another 9 sites in the San Gabriel River watershed as we continue to grow this program.
Another deeply satisfying aspect of this past summer was the involvement of local students. Through the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Urban Water funding grant that we received, we were able to hire five Los Angeles Trade Technical College (LATTC) students for the summer to conduct water quality monitoring. In addition to scientific training, the team was also trained in communications (social media, blogging and outreach).
After their summer in the river, the River Report Card team created blog articles for the public and presentations for local high school students about their L.A. River monitoring project. Our goal was to engage more people in science and the environment with real-world examples and first-hand storytelling.
The culmination of months of work happened when our LATTC students presented to two Environmental Science AP classes at Thousand Oaks High School in the fall of last year.
Many of the Thousand Oaks high school students didn’t know much about the L.A. River or that you could kayak in it. The LATTC students told personal stories about their experiences in the L.A. River and how they were surprised at the number of plants and animals that call it home, how it is actually very deep in some sections (verified through an accidental kayak spill), and that pollution, both seen and unseen, unfortunately remains a major problem. Watching them present so passionately gave me a sense of excitement for our next generation of environmental leaders and problem solvers.
This year, we will be releasing a more technical wrap-up of our water quality results from summer 2017; some of the students will continue working with us on data analysis, report writing, and giving more presentations to high school students and agencies. We are sad but thrilled that one student will be leaving us to transfer to Arizona State University in January to study Geology.
As we look back on this amazing season, we share these personal stories below, written by the LATTC students on their experiences at the L.A. River. Enjoy!
Seeing the L.A. River From A Fresh Perspective
By Yuris Delcid
As a student of nursing, one of my goals has always been to help people in a positive way. When I heard about Heal the Bay, I felt I needed to join the crew.
I began my L.A. River Monitoring internship with Heal the Bay in the summer of 2017. It has taught me so much about the environment, why we need to care for the ocean, and the importance of educating the community on how to help.
One of the coolest parts of my Heal the Bay internship was envisioning how different the L.A. River could be, compared to how it appears in Hollywood movies! The L.A. River is not only concrete; it has natural wildlife living within. It’s amazing to see the L.A. River from this fresh perspective. Seeing all the different natural plants growing, birds watching me as I’m grabbing my water samples — observing rarities like an “albino fish” — I feel so much peace and this makes me love what I do when I’m there.
Monitoring the L.A. River has changed the way I think about waterways. Testing the water quality for different types of bacteria, in example; E-coli and Enterococcus, has been eye opening. At first, it was surprising to discover which spots had the highest and lowest levels of bacteria in the river. Now I have a deeper understanding of where the water comes from and where it is discharged. And this knowledge informs how we can help keep the L.A. River clean, and how to protect marine life by keeping the oceans and water free of trash and pollution. I wish more people knew about their local watersheds in this tangible way.
This internship with HtB has given me more knowledge than I expected about water quality. I take overall precautions when I want to go to the beach or kayaking in a local creek or river. The experience has also given me tools to spread awareness of how important it is to stop water pollution.
So many people can care about the environment and take action to make a difference. We can all start making some changes in life. We can simply start by pledging not to use plastic straws, use reusable water bottles and/or stop using plastic bags.
My long term goals are to graduate as a Registered Nurse and help people by caring for them when they need me the most. This internship has taught me that you can accomplish your goals with perseverance and patience. Our work with the L.A. River has taught me that advocacy can engage more people in the community in making a difference.
Finding Purpose in the Process
By Vanessa Granados
I am inspired by nature and all that it brings. When I was seeking internships in my area of study (Chemical Technology) I found that most opportunities existed within the refinery, pharmaceutical, and food industries. I have always been inclined to the environmental side.
When I heard of the opportunity with Heal the Bay, I was excited to learn it was a non-profit environmental organization. It was the perfect route for the start of my career in order to gain environmental field experience.
After three months of working in the field, I have learned many observational and technical skills. One of the greatest things I’ve learned is how to record all the information and results. This scientific process is a big factor for anyone in the technical field. It’s a skill you have to learn. Plus, you should always be ready with the evidence to prove your results and conclusions. When you’re out in the field and lab, it’s important to follow procedures and be detail-oriented, so the final results have accurate context and information.
I had the opportunity to work in the L.A. River and see the vegetation and wildlife that thrives there. Yet many people do not know about it. I’ve seen crawfish, ducks, birds, eagles, red dragonflies, fish and rabbits. It is truly amazing to observe a flock of ducks or birds swimming down the stream with their family. It sparks a sense of initiative to do more for the L.A. River, so it can continue to flourish and eventually bring back diverse species to the river.
This internship has helped me contribute, and learn more about how to help our watersheds. By understanding what’s going on in the water, you are helping to protect our environment and health. Going out every Friday during the summer, collecting water samples to bring back to the lab, and analyzing for E-Coli is one way to monitor bacteria levels in the water. We do this to inform people about what’s going on in the L.A. River, whether they are kayaking, walking, or just enjoying the scene on a morning walk. The River Report Card from this summer is available online at Heal the Bay’s website: https://healthebay.org/riverreportcard/
My main goal when first applying was to help clean the waterways of Los Angeles. Growing up in this city I’ve seen much the streets littered with trash and smog in the air.
I was pleased to find out how much effort Heat the Bay puts into keeping the waterways of Los Angeles clean. When coming out of high school my only knowledge of Heal the Bay was that they held beach cleanups.
We were taken to sites all along the L.A. River to collect sample of the water to test for bacteria. We were given boots to wade in the water, but one site in particular was clean enough to go into bare foot. We graded the quality, based on how great of a risk if any, it presented to recreational water use.
Storm drain monitoring was something I was completely unaware of. The location of a storm drain can determine the origin of certain outflows and helps locate suspicious activity.
Although there is much work to be done, it’s a great feeling to know we are doing all we can to make the waters safe. Overall the best part of this internship was kayaking down the River. It was an experience I will remember for a lifetime and has encouraged me to get my own kayak and explore more waterways around the world.
During our outing, we were accompanied by an L.A. River guide who informed us of the flooding during the wet seasons and how trash accumulates along the riverbed near the dam. Plastic bags and trash could still be seen on treetops and lodged in bushes. Plastic was present at almost every testing site in the L.A. River, too. I wish people were more informed about how much trash and plastic end up in the water and ocean.
A long-term goal of mine would be to help inform people of the repercussions they have on the environment around them, animals and wildlife to be specific. One field of research I look forward to is Biological research, mainly human impact on surroundings. Through Heal the Bay, we can help reduce the amount of man-made waste and balance ecosystems to their natural homeostasis.
An Oasis in the City I Love
By Christopher Zamora
Growing up in Austin, TX I always found myself exploring the outdoors. The city is a green oasis in the middle of hot and dry Texas, surrounded by lakes and parted by the Colorado River. Camping was a ritual, hiking came naturally, and rock collecting became my obsession after visiting deep caverns in elementary school. I enjoyed all the natural landscapes the city and state had to offer. I was uncertain if I’d be able to keep these activities going when I moved to Los Angeles right before junior year of high school.
The sight of the concrete channel containing the Los Angeles River was strangely beautiful when I first glanced at it from the 4th Street Bridge, linking downtown to Angelenos east of the stream. Maybe because of Hollywood films and trending, record-breaking shows like Fear the Walking Dead, featuring the river in its gray concrete slabs. This famous view of the river, cemented and narrow, can be easily spotted in urban photography, music videos, and movies.
It wasn’t until my internship at Heal the Bay started that I began to venture into the Los Angeles River ecology and surround myself with places so unfamiliar and alien to the city.
Green, soft-bottomed, flora-and-fauna was thriving community in the middle of the city! It was so relieving to see the natural river zones. The great blue herons, blue damselflies, and western tiger swallowtail butterflies made the air seem “breathable” again. I had forgotten about the crowds and smog, and got lost in the tall greenery along the edges and center of the river.
The most prevalent color I noticed in the surrounding vegetation was a faint, dull green, very light in hue. The color belonged to a stalky cane-like plant. These tall plants dominated the area, grew in colonies, and varied in size from 3ft to 25ft in some areas. The team and I were informed by Dr. Pease that the plant, Arundo donax, was invasive and displacing the native plants.
We quickly realized the damage of the invasive species after seeing recently eradicated “arundo” stretched across the concrete bank next to the L.A River near Rattlesnake Park; looking back at the river with unfocused eyes, the dominance of the burgeoning plant really dramatized the scene.
It still surprises me how I manage to get startled by the random presence of arundo during our field work. It can be towering, and feel as if you and the river are being loomed-over together. Even the newly growing, short stalks can outnumber the group and myself. Any recreational kayaker, canoer, runner, walker, cyclist, fishermen/women, and near-stream park goers can catch a glimpse of these bad babies by just scanning the river briefly and looking for the contrasting stalky bamboo-type plant. It looks like a mass of unwanted neighbors disturbing and delaying the ambience of an upcoming thriving community. Learning about these types of issues made me aware that there is more to the health of the river than meets the eye, and it’s important to dig below the surface to learn about water quality and wildlife conditions.
The Time I Was In The Times
By Nelson Chabarria
We were in the school library – finishing up some data entry. The River Report Card had been released a week prior and we were about to refresh it with the latest test results. Weeks and hours and sunburns went into the grades, and to make them publicly available was simply gratifying. This moment felt pretty cool.
I was born and raised here. I’ve seen this “river” as I crossed the bridge to and from East L.A. I always thought of it as a ditch that divided the city. I am glad I was wrong about this. The river has its own ecosystem and interested groups that are invested in it.
I started classes in LATTC to come out of it working with some sort of water filtration or conservation leaning career. I want to be able to contribute in some way to making sure my city is smart in how it treats and uses the water we receive.
I never gave storm drains a second thought while driving. The few times they took my attention was during heavy storms where they flooded – the pooled water splashing unlucky pedestrians as cars passed. Sometimes I was unlucky. Now I am aware of its function, their contribution to the way water is handled here, and the importance of NOT contaminating streets with trash or toxic waste.
On a personal note it was great to come out and be featured in an LA Times newspaper article. I had explained the work to some family, but not all. I never expected to talk to a reporter about my background and the work I do in the river. Once the article was released it spread to people that were unaware of the work I was doing. The bombardment of questions, congratulations and support was one of the best feelings to come out of this program. I cannot thank Heal the Bay enough for making this possible.
My job was the same each week. I went out and collected samples. The next day they were read and the data was collected and posted. Even though it is the same every week, each time is always filled with new experiences. It can come from the people we meet at the river or the dynamics of our great team.
Heal the Bay’s internship program covered a wide range of public service opportunities in the water systems of Los Angeles. The idea, team and process meshed right in with what I am interested in. It is one of the main reasons why I decided on coming back into school during the summer!
Meet the Team
Heal the Bay has monitored water quality in Malibu Creek since 2014 and in the L.A. River since 2015. In the fall of 2016, we were awarded the U.S. EPA Urban Waters Grant. As a result, we have launched a unique freshwater monitoring program in partnership with a local college. Led by our very own watershed scientist Katherine Pease, we’re training five awesome Los Angeles Trade Technical College “LATTC” students to monitor the conditions in the L.A. River. We’re also working with two outstanding interns who support our Malibu Creek efforts.
Heal the Bay Staff
Dr. Katherine Pease Longtime Heal the Bay staffer, Katherine has extensive experience assessing the water quality and biological health of greater L.A.’s watersheds, as well as assisting stakeholder groups with policy recommendations.
Annelisa Moe Annelisa helps to keep L.A. water clean and safe by advocating for comprehensive and science-based water quality regulation and enforcement. Before joining the team at Heal the Bay, she worked with the Regional Water Quality Control Board.
L.A. River Monitors (Summer 2017)
Nelson Chabarria A native Angeleno, Nelson is obsessed with his pet pug, Goose. He is thrilled to be part of this L.A. River monitoring program.
Yuris Delcid Hailing from El Salvador, Yuris is going to LATTC to get her Associate’s Degree in Registered Nursing. Nothing is more important to her than her family (except for maybe her two cats).
Vanessa Granados Vanessa is attending LATTC for her Associate’s Degree in Chemical Technology. She plans to continue studying for a B.A. in Environmental Science or Agriculture, and to engage in activism for natural ecosystems.
John Silva Majoring in Biology, John is passionate about animal welfare. He strives to one day open a holistic care center for domesticated animals.
Christopher Zamora Christopher’s concerns are global; he aspires to participate in environmental geochemical research and to one day become an activist to improve (inter)national guidelines and policies.
Manuel Robles Manuel Robles has been the Life Sciences Laboratory Technician at LATTC since 2012. He received his Bachelor’s in Biology from Cal State Long Beach and gets to work on the coolest biology projects.
Malibu Creek Watershed Monitors (Summer 2017)
Melissa Rojas Melissa recently graduated from UC Davis with a B.S. in Environmental Science and Management. During her time there, water became a focal point for her studies in conservation and management.
Andrius Ruplenas Born and raised in Santa Monica, Andrius studied at Santa Monica College for two years before transferring to Northern Arizona University, where he’s currently majoring in Environmental Studies. He just returned from a semester abroad in Costa Rica, where he got the chance to explore while studying Spanish.