Heal the Bay Blog

Category: Angler Outreach Program

Reflecting on a Year of Progress

Heal the Bay achieved significant accomplishments in 2023 in safeguarding our waters, preserving biodiversity, and raising awareness about the importance of environmental conservation.   Through our collective efforts and with your unwavering support, we worked tirelessly to create cleaner, healthier, and more sustainable coastal waters and watersheds for Los Angeles and beyond from summit to sea. As we reflect on the achievements of this past year, we are thrilled to carry this momentum into the coming year, always aiming to make a lasting difference. Celebrate them with us!  

2023 Highlights   

Our expertise was sought after, and our work was celebrated.  

In 2023, Heal the Bay was honored for decades of commitment to the environment. 

  • The City of Los Angeles officially declared October 20, 2023 “Heal the Bay Day in LA” in recognition of nearly four decades of accomplishments including the 20th anniversary of our Angler Outreach Program as well as our Aquarium.    
  • The 3rd Annual Heal the Bay One Water symposium was convened at Will Rogers State Beach, establishing Heal the Bay as a thought leader among civil engineers, water conservation experts, and local, county, and state legislators.  
  • Heal the Bay was officially appointed to the LA 28 Environmental Sustainability Committee for the 2028 Summer Olympics. 


The future of our planet starts with better environmental policy. 

Heal the Bay played a pivotal role in successfully advancing policies and legislation for the benefit of water quality, affordability, and coastal ecosystems to ensure a more sustainable Los Angeles region and climate-resilient California.    

  • Heal the Bay, co-sponsored Assembly Bill 1572 (Friedman) alongside the NRDC and the Los Angeles Metropolitan Water District. This new law bans the use of drinking water to irrigate non-functional (purely ornamental) turf on governmental and commercial landscapes; and is expected to save the equivalent amount of water that 780,000 households use in a year.  
  • Heal the Bay advocated for water quality protection at the Boeing Santa Susana Field Laboratory site in Simi Valley. The Los Angeles Regional Water Board voted in October to keep regulations on surface water that flows from this previous industrial site, keeping stringent water quality limits, adding more monitoring, and addressing the potential for surface water pollution to impact groundwater, a huge win in the ongoing battle for water quality protection. 
  • Our policy team worked to legally strengthen and streamline fishing regulations to make fishery enforcement more equitable through Assembly Bill 1611 (Lowenthal). This new Heal the Bay sponsored law was supported by conservationists and fishery regulatory agencies alike as a win-win for both nature and the fishing community.   
  • Heal the Bay co-authored a new (and well-received) Vision 2045 Report and shared it with LA County decision-makers who are tasked with overseeing the ambitious Safe, Clean, Water Program (SCWP). This collaborative “vision” laid out a roadmap of bolder goals, and recommendations to more quickly and definitively reach 2045 SCWP targets.   


It Takes a Very Large Village.    

This year Heal the Bay published its first Volunteer Impact Report highlighting the accomplishments of our 22,017 volunteers from the 2022 season, which paved the way for the many volunteer successes of 2023. 

  • In 2023, Heal the Bay volunteers collected more than 22,000 pounds of trash and contributing 71,048 hours to protecting our precious watershed and coastal waters!  
  • In September, Heal the Bay mobilized 7,337 volunteers on Coastal Cleanup Day, removing 16,211 pounds of trash (including 429 pounds of recyclables) from greater Los Angeles coastlines and waterways. 


Sticking a Fork in Plastic at the Source  

Recognizing the urgent need to combat plastic pollution, Heal the Bay continues impactful campaigns encouraging individuals and businesses to adopt sustainable practices.  For several years, staff has been working with LA City and County to help create legislation aiming to break the harmful plastic cycle.   By advocating for reducing single-use plastics and promoting responsible waste management, we took significant steps toward a plastic-free future.    

  • Our “No Bag November” campaign reaffirmed Heal the Bay’s commitment to a plastic-free Los Angeles.  Through partnerships and community activations, No Bag November urged Angelenos to say “no” to single-use plastic bags and encouraged everyone to grab their reusable bags instead.  
  • In 2023, the implementation of THREE new laws made big waves for the environment as a means to reduce plastic in our oceans.    
  • As a leader in the Reusable LA Coalition, we co-launched the “Hold the Plastic, please, campaign to educate businesses and the public about LA City and County plastic bans that Heal the Bay and partners advocated to pass. 


Environmental Health IS Public Health 

In 2023, Heal the Bay continued its relentless commitment to ocean water and freshwater quality from summit to sea.   

  • Since its launch in 2003, Heal the Bay’s Angler Outreach Program (in partnership with the Environmental Protection Agency) has educated more than 190,000 anglers about which fish are contaminated, and which are safer to eat.  
  • Our annual Beach Report Card released this year remains the gold standard, providing access to the latest water quality information based on levels of fecal-indicator bacterial pollution in the ocean at over 700 beaches. For more than 30 years, our annual report has assigned “A-to-F” letter grades and ranked the “Best and Bummer” lists across beaches from Washington State to Tijuana, Mexico.  
  • The 5th annual River Report Card was also released, ranking freshwater quality and providing grades for 35 freshwater recreation areas in Los Angeles County tested during the summer of 2022.  This summer we debuted our upgraded River Report Card with an intuitive letter grading system and celebrated the achievements of our 2023 Summer Stream Team. These two programs are at the forefront of our efforts to keep LA’s waters safe and enjoyable for all.  


Conservation and Marine Protection Are Key to Our Mission

Heal the Bay reaffirmed its commitment to biodiversity through both volunteer activations and the tireless efforts of our husbandry, operations, and education Aquarium teams. 

  • Heal the Bay Aquarium plays a pivotal role in species conservation through research, breeding programs, and public awareness campaigns. In 2023, sixteen fish, three swell sharks, and dozens of moon jellies were born at the Aquarium; and our animal care team released five species of protected and rehabilitated marine life including a keystone species, the California Sheephead fish, and a critically endangered Giant Spotted Bass into the Santa Monica Bay. By releasing these animals back into the wild, Heal the Bay continues its mission to protect and support the biodiversity of wild fish populations. 
  • As part of our collective commitment to successful conservation efforts, Heal the Bay Aquarium officially joined the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) Wildlife Trafficking Alliance.  As an official member of US Fish & Wildlife Department’s Wildlife Confiscation Network pilot program, the aquarium is certified to care for the well-being of wildlife confiscated from illegal trade.   
  • Heal the Bay’s Science and Policy Team successfully advocated for state funding to research DDT in 2022-23 and is now working as part of a coalition to lead public meetings and educate Californias on the impacts of DDT on public health and biodiversity. 
  • As a watchdog for Marine Protected Areas, Heal the Bay’s MPA Team is actively contributing and analyzing critical data on California’s first decade-long review that began in 2023. One of the biggest conclusions of the review highlighted the fact that protecting these precious estuaries for the past decade has worked, allowing for flourishing biodiversity, larger populations, and bigger individual animals in these safeguarded areas. 

Environmental Justice is a pillar of environmental health.    

This year Heal the Bay stood up to big oil and continued to advocate for communities that experience the worst systemic and often immediate impacts of environmental injustice and climate change.  

  • For decades Heal the Bay has advocated alongside organizations like Stand Together Against Neighborhood Drilling to oppose oil drilling in Los Angeles neighborhoods, a practice long seen as an environmental injustice and a public health crisis. In October of 2023, the LA County Regional Planning Commission voted in support of phasing out oil drilling in the Inglewood Oil Field, one of the largest neighborhood oil fields in the country 
  • In 2023 Heal the Bay publicly endorsed the Campaign for a Safe and Healthy California and will work alongside public health groups, community and faith organizations, and environmental justice leaders from across California to “KEEP THE LAW” (SB 1137) on the November 2024 ballot. This law prohibits new oil wells within 3,200 feet of homes, schools, day care centers, parks, healthcare facilities, and businesses. 


Environmental Education, Outreach and Sharing our Passion to Protect What We Love  

Education remained a cornerstone of our mission.  In 2023, Heal the Bay expanded our outreach program, teaching schools and communities to understand the importance of environmental conservation and the role each individual can play.  

  • Through innovative approaches and interactive science-based programs, educational efforts continued to inspire and inform diverse audiences.  The Heal the Bay Aquarium field trip program sponsored 10,285 students from 22 school districts in LA County— 79% were Title 1 schools.   
  • This year, “Coastal Cleanup Education Day” at the Aquarium hosted more than 250 3rd-5th grade students from across Los Angeles County for a day of beach exploration, scientific excursions, pollution education, and hands on learning while having some fun in the sun.  


Cheers to 2023 

 As we look back on 2023, Heal the Bay celebrates a year of accomplishments, resilience, and collaboration. These achievements underscore the collective efforts of our dedicated team, volunteers, and supporters who made a positive impact on the health of our oceans and coastal ecosystems.   

Here’s to a future filled with even greater strides toward a sustainable and thriving planet!    

Looking to the Future with 2024 in our sights 

In 2024, Heal the Bay will enter a bold five-year strategic plan with a focus on protecting and restoring the Los Angeles environment and water. The plan aims to improve water quality, increase access to clean water, and advocate for policies that benefit the environment. We have outlined specific goals and initiatives, such as reducing plastic pollution, restoring wetlands, and engaging communities in environmental education and action.   

Thank you for all our supporters both past and present.


Want to support our work for years to come? There is still time to make your big impact for Heal the Bay with Year End Giving. Give a gift for good to protect our precious watershed and help keep our coastal waters safe and clean all year round. Whether it be Corporate and Foundation GivingPartnershipsStock DonationsDonor Advised FundsEstate PlansDonations and Sponsorship Opportunities, you can make a lasting impact with your year-end contribution today. Contact Us.

Heal the Bay’s Angler Outreach Program Manager, Frankie Orrala, shares the program’s positive impacts and successes from over the last 20 years.

Heal the Bay’s Angler Outreach Program (AOP) is celebrating 20 years! This program is designed to educate pier and shore anglers in Los Angeles and Orange County about the risks of consuming fish contaminated with toxins such as dichloro-diphenyl-trichloroethane (DDT) and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). Created in 2003, AOP is a component of the Fish Contamination Education Collaboration (FCEC) and managed by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as part of a far-reaching public education and outreach program. Notably, the program also works in association with federal and state agencies as well as local community organizations.

The FCEC was established to address a major contamination site (aka Superfund site) off the coast of Los Angeles, along the Palos Verdes shelf. DDT and PCBs were historically discharged into the ocean near the Palos Verdes Peninsula, pollution which still exists in the sediment today. These toxins can travel through the food chain into fish and potentially have negative impacts on human health if the fish are eaten; certain species of fish and certain areas are more likely to be contaminated.

The goal of the AOP is to educate anglers about this contamination and share which fish should be avoided. During visits to different piers in Southern California, Heal the Bay’s educational team has interacted with diverse fishing communities and outreach is conducted in multiple languages. Heal the Bay is proud to have a team of bilingual staff who have educated Southern California pier anglers in multiple languages, including: Spanish, Chinese, Tagalog, Vietnamese, Khmer and Russian.

Since its inception 20 years ago, Heal the Bay’s AOP team has educated more than 190,000 pier anglers. Along the way, we have heard many stories and learned a lot about the people who frequently fish on our local piers. We appreciate these anglers and the knowledge and experiences they share with us.

Awards Received at the National Level

In 2009, the EPA presented two prestigious awards to the Fish Contamination Education Collaborative. FCEC was recognized for its work to protect the most vulnerable populations in Southern California from the health risks of consuming fish contaminated with DDT and PCBs; the other award was given to Heal the Bay and all FCEC partners in Los Angeles for Achievement in Environmental Justice.

On behalf of the AOP and Heal the Bay, I traveled to Washington D.C.  to receive the distinguished award in recognition of Citizen Excellence in Community Involvement. This award is presented annually to an individual or community group working with a Superfund team for outstanding achievements in the field of environmental protection.

Heal the Bay was thrilled to be selected to present to the FCEC among other national projects. The recognition was significant as it confirmed Heal the Bay’s work is truly protecting the health of all people, especially communities with economic and social disadvantages.


2009 Award Winner: Frankie Orrala of Heal the Bay receiving the Citizen Excellence in Community Involvement and Environmental Justice Achievement Awards

In addition to accepting this award in Washington D.C, in 2009, I traveled to Ecuador in South America, along with scientists from the National Fisheries Institute (Instituto Nacional de Pesca) as well as professors, researchers and students from the University of Guayaquil. We came together to talk about FCEC’s efforts to monitor pollution and educate the public about its effect on human and environmental health.

The international interest our program receives is an honor; the AOP team is busy building on these relationships and with more communities as they are facing similar problems as Southern California.

Continuing to advance environmental justice is a critical objective of our work. Moving forward, Heal the Bay’s AOP program remains committed to educating and protecting chronically underserved populations in the region, many of whom are exposed to higher rates of pollution compared to the general population.

In closing, there are many reasons for the AOP team’s continued success, from our great team members to the communities we work with, to the experts who are providing us with advice. All of it wouldn’t be possible without Heal the Bay’s dedicated supporters and for that we say THANK YOU!

To learn more about our program, visit and if you want to join our bilingual team call us at 310-451-1500 or visit our site at

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There are new spots for fishing at Pier J in Long Beach. Here’s what anglers need to know about fishing in the red zone.

The pandemic has brought many changes to our lives, and Pier J is no exception. This beautiful spot has a spectacular view of the Long Beach marina, and now features new infrastructure from which to enjoy fishing. Historically, “Pier J” was not an actual pier, it was just a rocky area where anglers were required to have a license to fish. 

In a recent visit I made to this pier, I was surprised to see the changes that the Pier J area has undergone, making it even more inviting for people to visit, fish, or simply enjoy the scenery. Pier J now has two actual piers located along the rocky area. The first pier is just below the Cruise line Terminal and has benches, restrooms, parking, and a water fountain for people and pets. Moving a little further south, the second pier also has benches, bathrooms and parking, including amenities for people with disabilities.

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Photos by Frankie Orrala. May 7, 2021

In addition, Pier J also has educational signs throughout the area about the complex interactions of marine animals and plants in Queensway Bay (home of the Queen Mary and the Aquarium of the Pacific), as well as the 5 fish that people should not eat. These 5 fish (white croaker, barred sand bass, black croaker, topsmelt, and barracuda) caught at Pier J are within the red zone and should not be consumed due to their high levels of toxic chemicals. 

These toxic chemicals are mostly found in the skin and fatty tissues of fish. To reduce exposure to these chemicals, it is recommended to only eat the fillet of “safe-to-eat” fish species that are not on the list of the most contaminated.

According to the anglers at this pier, Pier J reopened its fishing activities in February. Like Rainbow Harbor Pier described in my blog last month, Pier J is also very close to the mouth of the Los Angeles River, making it an area of ​​water quality concern for those who enjoy fishing on these piers. Heal the Bay’s Angler Outreach Program will resume activities in June, after a long hiatus due to COVID-19, and we are thrilled to be back educating Southern California pier anglers in-person about the potential effects of eating contaminated fish and how to stay healthy. 

Heal the Bay’s Angler Outreach Program (AOP) is part of the Fish Contamination Education Collaborative (FCEC), a public outreach and education component of the Palos Verdes Shelf Superfund program run by Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The FCEC and AOP provide information on which fish should be avoided and which are safe to eat. Over the last 18 years, our Angler Outreach team members have talked with thousands of anglers (often in multiple languages) about the risks of consuming contaminated fish, what fish are safe to eat, and what cooking methods are safest. We also share other relevant information including maps showing the red zone, an area where toxic waste like DDT and PCBs, chemicals historically found in pesticides, were discharged through the sewer system and remain in sediment. Although DDT and PCBs are no longer used, their impacts can still be felt today; consuming DDT or PCB-contaminated fish can result in chronic health problems and the consumption of white croaker, barred sand bass, black croaker, topsmelt, and barracuda should be avoided. 

To learn more, visit

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Nuevas oportunidades de pesca en Pier J de la ciudad Long Beach: lo que debes saber sobre la pesca en la zona roja.

La pandemia ha traído muchos cambios a nuestras vidas y Pier J no es una excepción. Este hermoso lugar que tiene una vista espectacular de la marina de Long Beach ahora cuenta con una nueva infraestructura para disfrutar la pesca. Históricamente, “Pier J” no era un verdadero muelle, era solo una zona rocosa donde los pescadores debían tener una licencia para poder pescar.

En una visita reciente que realicé a este muelle, me sorprendió de los cambios que se han realizado en pier J durante la pandemia, haciéndolo aún más atractivo como lugar para visitar, pescar o simplemente disfrutar de su paisaje. Pier J ahora tiene dos muelles pequeños ubicados a lo largo de la zona rocosa. El primer muelle está justo debajo de la Terminal de cruceros y cuenta con bancos, baños, estacionamiento y un bebedero de agua para personas y mascotas. Moviéndose un poco más al sur se encuentra el segundo muelle que también cuenta con bancos, baños y estacionamiento, y que incluye facilidades para personas discapacitadas.

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Photos by Frankie Orrala. May 7, 2021

Además, Pier J también tiene avisos informativos en toda el área para aprender sobre las complejas interacciones de los animales y plantas marinas en Queensway Bay (hogar del Queen Mary y el Acuario del Pacífico) y tiene tambien los letreros de los 5 peces que la gente no debe consumer, debido a los altos niveles de contaminación. Estos 5 peces capturados en pier J (corvineta blanca, cabrilla, corvineta negra, pejerrey y barracuda) se encuentran dentro de la zona roja y no deben consumirse debido a sus altos niveles de químicos tóxicos.

Estos químicos tóxicos se encuentran principalmente en la piel y en los tejidos grasos de los peces. Para reducir la exposición a estos químicos, se recomienda comer solo el filete de las especies “seguras para comer” que no estén en la lista de las más contaminadas.

Según los pescadores de este muelle, Pier J reabrió sus actividades pesqueras en febrero de este año. Pier J se encuentra cerca de la desembocadura del río Los Ángeles, lo que lo convierte también en un área de preocupación por la calidad del agua para quienes disfrutan de la pesca en este muelle. El Programa Educacional Pesquero de Heal the Bay reanudará sus actividades en junio, después de una larga pausa debido al COVID-19, y estamos emocionados de volver a educar a los pescadores de los muelle del sur de California sobre los efectos potenciales de comer peces contaminados y cómo mantenerse saludables.

El Programa Educacional Pesquero de Heal the Bay (AOP) es parte del Grupo Educacional sobre la Contaminación de Peces (FCEC, por sus siglas en inglés), un componente de educación y divulgación de la Agencia de Protección Ambiental (EPA, por sus siglas en inglés). La FCEC y AOP proporcionan información sobre qué peces se deben evitar y cuáles son seguros para el consumo. Durante los últimos 18 años, los miembros de nuestro equipo de AOP han hablado con miles de pescadores (a menudo en varios idiomas) sobre los riesgos de consumir peces contaminados, qué peces son seguros para el consumo y qué métodos de cocción son los más apropiados. También compartimos otra información relevante, incluídos mapas que muestran la zona roja, un área donde los desechos tóxicos como el DDT y los PCB, productos químicos que históricamente se encuentran en los pesticidas, se descargaron a través del sistema de alcantarillado y permanecen en el sedimento. Aunque el DDT y los PCB ya no se utilizan, sus impactos todavía pueden ser sentidos. El consumo de peces contaminado con DDT o PCB pueden provocar problemas de salud crónicos y deben evitarse el consumo de corvineta blanca, cabrilla, corvineta negra, pejerrey y barracuda.

Si desea más información, visite 

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Photo by Frankie Orrala (April 16, 2021)

This month, through our Angler Outreach Program, we’re spotlighting Rainbow Harbor in Long Beach.

Rainbow Harbor is an area with three mini piers located south of downtown Long Beach, right at the mouth of the Los Angeles River. Like many other local piers, it is a beautiful place for walks, with nearby spots to eat and enjoy fishing. It has a spectacular view that can be enjoyed all day. Rainbow Harbor has benches, and a great view of the park and the historic RMS Queen Mary. Fishing is allowed here, and you don’t even need a fishing license. In Rainbow Harbor, some of the most common fish caught are surf perch, mackerels, halibut, and white croakers.

On a recent visit to Rainbow Harbor, I enjoyed the relaxing atmosphere of the harbor, and had the privilege to speak with a diverse group of anglers. I was relieved to learn that most of them set out to catch perch or mackerels, for reasons I will discuss below. However, I became concerned when I learned most of them were not aware that the heavily polluted Los Angeles River discharges near the fishing pier.

Unfortunately Rainbow Harbor is within the red zone for fish contamination, and the consumption of white croaker, barred sand bass, black croaker, topsmelt, and barracuda should be avoided due to high levels of contaminants like DDT, PCBS, and mercury in their body tissue. The majority of these contaminants originate from the Montrose Chemical Plant’s illegal dumping activities 30 plus years ago, which creates health concerns for all ocean anglers in LA County to this day. Rainbow Harbor’s close proximity to the mouth of the Los Angeles River means anglers have even more contamination to worry about. The Los Angeles River discharges pollutants such as metals, toxins, and sewage into the ocean, near where these anglers are catching fish to eat.

A wading bird gets sun

That pollution does not originate in the Los Angeles River; it comes from the streets, sidewalks, lawns, and parking lots throughout our communities in the entire watershed. If we are going to protect the health of the anglers who are catching fish and their families, we need to acknowledge and address pollution on our streets, in the Los Angeles River, and in the ocean.

Our Angler Outreach Program, an educational program for shore and pier anglers in Los Angeles and Orange Counties about the risks of consuming contaminated fish will soon continue educating anglers that are fishing in the red zone in-person. The in-person outreach program was paused due to COVID-19. We also continue to encourage all to learn about water quality and ask questions about the latest water quality results at:

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People fishing off Rainbow Harbor pier
Photo by Frankie Orrala (April 16, 2021)

Rainbow Harbor es un área con tres mini muelles ubicados al sur del centro de Long Beach, justo en la desembocadura del río Los Ángeles. Como muchos otros muelles locales, es un hermoso lugar para pasear, con lugares cercanos para comer y disfrutar de la pesca. Tiene una vista espectacular que se puede disfrutar todo el día. Rainbow Harbor tiene bancas a sus alrededores, una gran vista del parque y del histórico RMS Queen Mary. La pesca está permitida y no se necesita una licencia de pesca. En Rainbow Harbor, algunos de los peces más comunes son la mojarra, la macarela, el lenguado y la corvineta o roncador blanco.

En una visita reciente a Rainbow Harbor, pude disfrutar de un ambiente relajante del puerto y tuve la oportunidad de conversar con un grupo diverso de pescadores. Me sentí aliviado al saber que la mayoría de ellos se disponian a capturar mojarras o macarelas, por razones que discutiré a continuación. Sin embargo, me preocupé cuando supe que la mayoría de ellos no sabían que el río Los Ángeles, está muy contaminado y que se descarga cerca del muelle de pesca.

Desafortunadamente, Rainbow Harbor se encuentra dentro de la zona roja de la contaminación de peces, y el consumo de la corvineta blanca, cabrilla, corvineta negra, pejerrey y barracuda deben evitarse debido a los altos niveles de contaminantes como DDT, PCBS y mercurio en sus tejidos. La mayoría de estos contaminantes se originaron de las actividades de vertido ilegal de la planta química Montrose hace más de 30 años, lo que ha creado preocupaciones de salud para todos los pescadores oceánicos en el condado de Los Ángeles hasta el día de hoy. La proximidad de Rainbow Harbor a la desembocadura del río Los Ángeles significa para los pescadores tener aún más contaminación de que preocuparse. El río Los Ángeles descarga en el océano contaminantes como metales, toxinas y aguas residuales, cerca de donde estos pescadores capturan sus peces para su alimntación.

Esa contaminación no se origina en el río Los Ángeles; se origina en las calles, aceras, jardines y estacionamientos de nuestras comunidades dentro de toda la cuenca hidrográfica. Si vamos a proteger la salud de los pescadores y sus familias, debemos reconocer y abordar la contaminación en nuestras calles, río de Los Ángeles y del océano.

Nuestro Programa Educacional Pesquero, continuará educando a los pescadores de costa y muelle en los condados de Los Ángeles y Orange sobre los riesgos de consumir peces contaminado. El programa de divulgación en persona ha estado paralizado por ahora debido al COVID-19. Continuaremos también alentando a todos para aprender sobre la calidad del agua y preguntarse sobre los últimos resultados de calidad del agua en:

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This month, through our Angler Outreach Program, we’re spotlighting Seal Beach Pier in Orange County.

Seal Beach Pier, located in Orange County, is one of the longest wooden piers in California. It was built at the beginning of the last century and has suffered damages caused by storms and a fire in 2016 that destroyed the restaurant located at the end of the pier. Fortunately, most of the pier was saved from the flames.

Like the rest of California’s public piers, fishing at the Seal Beach Pier is free. A fishing license is not required, but fishing regulations must be followed regarding the size and species that can be caught.

The pier is open to the public from 6am to 10pm, and has amenities for anglers including areas to clean fish, trash cans to deposit the waste, and specific receptacles for used fishing lines to prevent animal entanglement and pollution issues in the ocean. Anglers enjoy the pier individually or with friends and family members, bringing their own food and chairs to enjoy fishing and a day at the beach. During the weekends you can often observe entire families enjoying a day of fishing.

At Seal Beach Pier it is very common to catch corbina, perch, mackerel, topsmelt, and halibut. It’s even possible to see sharks! I have also seen how anglers work as a team – experienced anglers often readily share their bait with first-timers so that everyone can enjoy a good fishing day.

Seal Beach Pier is within the red zone, where the consumption of white croaker, barred sand bass, black croaker, topsmelt and barracuda should be avoided due to their high levels of toxins such as dichloro-diphenyl-trichloroethane (DDT) and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). Signs on the pier list these five fish as contaminated.

People who regularly eat fish caught near the contaminated areas face greater health risks because of prolonged exposure to toxic chemicals such as DDT and PCBs.

Due to COVID-19, Heal the Bay’s Angler Outreach Program has suspended its educational activities at this pier. But once the health authorities allow it, we will return to the pier to educate pier anglers about the risk of consuming contaminated fish from the nearby superfund site at Palos Verdes Peninsula. Stay up to date on our Angler Outreach Program by checking out our latest blog posts.

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Seal Beach Pier, ubicado en el condado de Orange, es uno de los muelles de madera más largos de California. Fue construido a principios del siglo pasado y ha sufrido daños provocados por tormentas y un incendio en 2016 que destruyó un restaurante ubicado al final del muelle. Afortunadamente, la mayor parte del muelle se salvó de las llamas.

Al igual que el resto de los muelles públicos de California, la pesca en Seal Beach Pier es gratuita. No se requiere una licencia de pesca, pero se deben seguir sus regulaciones con respecto al tamaño y especies de peces que se pueden capturar.

El muelle está abierto al público de 6 a.m. a 10 p.m. y cuenta con comodidades que incluyen áreas para limpiar pescados, botes de basura para los desechos y receptáculos para desechar hilos de pesca usados para evitar enredos con animales y problemas de contaminación en el océano. Los pescadores disfrutan del muelle individualmente o con amigos y familiares, trayendo su propia comida y sillas para disfrutar de la pesca y cerca de la playa. Durante los fines de semana, a menudo se puede observar a familias enteras disfrutando de un día de pesca.

En Seal Beach Pier es muy común pescar corbinas, mojarras, macarelas, pejerrey y lenguados. A veces es posible ver tiburones. También he observado cómo los pescadores trabajan en equipo y a veces comparten sus cebos cuando alguien va a pescar por primera vez. Los pescadores experimentados comparten fácilmente su cebo para que todos puedan tener un buen día de pesca. 

Seal Beach Pier se encuentra dentro de la zona roja, donde se debe evitar el consumo de corvineta blanca, cabrilla, corvineta negra, pejerrey y barracuda debido a sus altos niveles de toxinas como dicloro-difenil-tricloroetano (DDT) y bifenilos policlorados (PCB). Los letreros en el muelle señalan a estos cinco peces como contaminados.

Las personas que consumen regularmente peces capturados cerca de las áreas contaminadas enfrentan mayores riesgos para la salud debido a la exposición prolongada a sustancias químicas tóxicas como el DDT y los PCB.

Debido a COVID-19, el Programa Educacional Pesquero de Heal the Bay ha suspendido sus actividades educativas en este muelle. Pero una vez que las autoridades de salud lo permitan, regresaremos al muelle para educar a los Pescadores sobre el riesgo de consumir pescado contaminado que vienen del sitio Superfund cercano a la península de Palos Verdes. Manténte informado sobre nuestro Programa Educacional Pesquero consultando nuestras últimas publicaciones en el blog.

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Spotlighting Belmont Pier in Long Beach, a busy fishing spot, and Heal the Bay’s Angler Outreach Program.

Belmont Veterans Memorial Pier is located in Long Beach near the Belmont Shore neighborhood. The current pier opened in 1967 and is 1,800 feet long. At the end of the pier, there is a large hexagonal area with two “wings” extending 120 feet from each side, giving the pier an overall T-shape.  

Belmont Pier is popular for fishing and like other piers, a fishing license is not required to fish there. However, anglers must make sure to follow fishing regulations regarding size, limits, and seasons for certain species.  

Over the last 18 years, Heal the Bay’s Angler Outreach Program (AOP) has been educating anglers at Belmont Pier (and 7 other piers) about fish contamination, which fish to avoid eating, and which fish are safe to eat. This program is part of the Fish Contamination Education Collaborative (FCEC)which is managed by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as part of a far-reaching public education and outreach program about the Palos Verdes Shelf superfund site.  

The Belmont Pier is located in the red zone, where levels of DDT and PCBs are high due to the nearby contaminated site. These toxins can travel through the food chain and accumulate in certain fish – fish caught in the red zone that should not be consumed are the white croaker, black croaker, barred sand bass,  topsmelt,  and barracuda.  

Our Angler Outreach Program is currently suspended due to COVID-19, but when we were able to have in-person outreach, Belmont Pier was regularly one of the top piers in terms of numbers of anglers we talked to. In 2018, we reached 9,801 anglers across 8 piers in the LA region. AOP team members visited all the piers for equal amounts of time, but talked to over 2,500 anglers at Belmont Pier alone (approximately 25%).

Belmont Pier on February 25, 2021

When we conduct outreach to anglers, we also collect data on the types of fish they are catching and each anglers’ zip code . We collect zip code data from new anglers,  and those we have not done outreach to before. In 2018, we collected zip codes from 1,165 anglers at Belmont Pier. The areas where the most anglers came from included Long Beach, as well as surrounding inland areas of Carson, Bellflower, Paramount, and Huntington Park. Collecting this data helps ensure that outreach is also conducted in the communities where anglers reside, through the community partners of the FCEC, along with piers.

In 2018, we documented that anglers at Belmont Pier caught 1,051 fish (over a total survey time of ~144 hours). Of those fish, the majority (85%) were mackerel. We did find that 61 (or 6%) of those fish were on the “do not consume” list, including white croaker, topsmelt, and barred sand bass. There is still a need to continue educating anglers about fish contamination and ensuring that they have the knowledge to protect themselves and their families.

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Belmont Veterans Memorial Pier está ubicado en Long Beach, cerca del vecindario Belmont Shore. El muelle actual se inauguró en 1967 y tiene 1.800 pies de largo. Al final del muelle, hay una gran área hexagonal con dos “alas” que se extienden 120 pies desde cada lado, lo que le da al muelle una forma de T general.

Belmont Pier es popular para pescar y, al igual que otros muelles, no se requiere una licencia de pesca para pescar allí. Sin embargo, los pescadores deben asegurarse de seguir las regulaciones de pesca con respecto al tamaño, límites y temporadas para ciertas especies.

Durante los últimos 18 años, el Programa Educacional Pequero de Heal the Bay (AOP, por sus siglas en inglés) ha estado educando a los pescadores en Belmont Pier (y otros 7 muelles) sobre la contaminación de peces, cuales evitar consumir y qué peces son seguros para el consumo. AOP es parte de Fish Contamination Education Collaborative (FCEC), que es administrado por la Agencia de Protección Ambiental de los EE. UU. (EPA) como parte de un programa de divulgación y educación pública de gran alcance sobre el sitio Superfund de Palos Verdes Shelf.

El muelle de Belmont está ubicado en la zona roja, donde los niveles de DDT y PCB son altos debido a la cercanía con el sitio contaminado. Estas toxinas pueden viajar a través de la cadena alimentacia y acumularse en ciertos peces. Los peces capturados en la zona roja que no deben consumirse son la corvineta blanca, corvineta negra, cabrilla, pejerrey y barracuda.

Nuestro Programa Educacional de Pesca está actualmente suspendido debido a COVID-19, pero cuando estuvimos presente, el muelle de Belmont fue regularmente uno de nuestros principales muelles en términos de cantidad de pescadores. En 2018, llegamos a 9.801 pescadores en 8 muelles en la región de Los Ángeles; Los miembros del equipo de AOP visitaron todos los muelles durante la misma cantidad de tiempo, pero hablaron con más de 2.500 pescadores solo en Belmont Pier (aproximadamente el 25%).

Cuando llevamos a cabo actividades de divulgación con los pescadores, también recopilamos datos sobre los tipos de peces que capturan y códigos postales de dónde residen. En el 2018, recopilamos códigos postales de 1,165 pescadores en Belmont Pier. Los códigos postales de donde provenían la mayoría de los pescadores incluían Long Beach, así como las áreas circundantes de Carson, Bellflower, Paramount y Huntington Park. La recopilación de estos datos ayudan a garantizar que la divulgación también se lleve a cabo en las comunidades donde viven los pescadores, a través de nuestros socios de FCEC.

En el 2018, documentamos que los pescadores en Belmont Pier capturaron 1,051 peces (durante un tiempo total de encuesta de aproximadamente 144 horas). De esos peces, la mayoría (85%) eran macarelas. Descubrimos también que 61 (o el 6%) de esos peces estaban en la lista de “no consumir”, incluida la corvineta blanca, pejerrey y cabrilla. Es necesario continuar educando a los pescadores sobre la contaminación de peces y asegurarse de que tengan los conocimientos necesarios para protegerse a sí mismos y a sus familias.

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