Heal the Bay has been making Southern California safer, healthier, and cleaner since 1985. Using the best science and grassroots community action, we mobilize campaigns that have lasting impact on our shorelines and neighborhoods. Here’s a sneak peek at the year ahead:
Our local waters should be teeming with wildlife, not trash.
Rethink The Drink
Beverage-related items form the bulk of trash collected at our cleanups – plastic water bottles, straws, bottle caps, and bits of Styrofoam cups. To stem the deluge, we’re launching a community campaign encouraging people to go reusable, while our policy staff pursues regulations that hold dischargers responsible for drink-related waste.
Why It Matters: It’s estimated that plastic will outweigh fish in the ocean by the year 2050. We simply must end our addiction to single-use plastics if we want to reverse this frightening trend.
How You Can Help: Skip the straw. Pass on the plastic bottle. Forget the foam.
Vibrant shorelines depend on fully functioning urban creeks and rivers.
Cleaning Our Creeks
Our science and policy team will dramatically expand its water-quality monitoring program by launching regular analysis at more than a dozen locations along the L.A. River and Ballona Creek. Modeled after our A-to-F Beach Report Card, the new grading program will support public health and aquatic well-being throughout the watershed.
Why It Matters: We can’t expect our beaches and wetlands to be clean if the waters that feed them are filled with harmful pollutants. As we fight for tougher limits on polluters, this advocacy requires consistent and scientifically gathered data.
How You Can Help: Take a tour of the L.A. River or the Ballona Wetlands to understand the stakes. Curtail polluting runoff to our creeks by cleaning up after your pet, opting for copper-free brake pads, and curtailing fertilizer and pesticide use.
Los Angeles imports over 80% of its water – a number that’s far too high.
The Southland needs to move beyond its centralized approach to water, which relies heavily on massive infrastructure – be it pumping water from the Sacramento Delta or Hyperion discharging millions of gallons of wastewater into the sea. Instead, Heal the Bay will lead the charge to invest in nature-based solutions, such as the L.A. City Council’s proposal to require “green street” capture-and-infiltrate features in all street, median, and parkway projects.
Why It Matters: A resilient L.A. depends on the widespread adoption of strategies that maximize on-site management of all forms of water. No single entity can win the water wars single-handedly. Local water agencies, business, homeowners, and renters all need to manage water more wisely. Making the most of our local water resources will help keep more environmentally harmful and costly options, like ocean desalination, at bay.
How You Can Help: Rip out your grass lawn. Break up a driveway. Support civic investment in stormwater capture.
Get the full scoop from Sarah Sikich, Heal the Bay’s Vice President (2-minute video).