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Heal the Bay Blog

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Plastic Pollution Reduction - Heal the Bay

Here’s a snapshot of one of the biggest issues facing our oceans and waterways – and what you can do to make a difference.

Take the Plastic Pledge

It’s estimated that there will be more plastic by mass than fish in the world’s oceans by 2050. This Earth Month, Heal the Bay is launching the Plastic Pledge campaign. You can get started today by refusing single-use plastic and replacing one product or service with a safer and cleaner alternative.

Here’s how it works in 3 simple steps:

1. Complete this statement:  I Pledge to ________ .

Here are some sample Plastic Pledges from the Heal the Bay team:

  • I Pledge to shop local instead of buying from Amazon.
  • I Pledge to drink from a reusable cup.
  • I Pledge to carry a reusable shopping bag.
  • I Pledge to use metal (or reusable) straws only.
  • I Pledge to encourage my favorite restaurants to go plastic-free.

2. Make it known:

Download this template, customize it, and share it on social media! Tag us @healthebay and use #healthebay so we can re-share your post!

3. Tell the full story:

Once you make the Plastic Pledge, how easy was it to keep? Making a personal shift away from single-use plastic isn’t simple. Transportation, budget, and a lack of access to equitable choices can get in the way of our willingness to opt for the better alternative. So, there is no shame in failing – in fact, it’s totally OK to fail. That is part of the process, right?! If you fail, tell us the full story in your social media post. Did your sandwich shop refuse to fill your reusable cup? Call ‘em out! If you are able to succeed in your Plastic Pledge, acknowledge why you were successful by recognizing the resources and privileges you have access to that helped you succeed. Does your gym provide accessible water refill stations for your bottle? Give them a shout out!


The Los Angeles County Department of Beaches and Harbors and Heal the Bay collaborate during National Coastal Cleanup Day at Dockweiler State Beach. The event included cleaning up the beach, family-friendly activities, and a chance to enter the Can the Trash! Clean Beach Poster Contest. All Rights Reserved. No Commercial Use. Credit: Los Angeles County
Photo Credit: Mayra Vasquez, Los Angeles County

Sign the Plastic Petition

We are asking Californians to sign the Plastic Petition in support of State Bill 54 and Assembly Bill 1080, known formally as the California Circular Economy and Plastic Pollution Reduction Acts. The two statewide bills were introduced, in the 2019 legislative season, to drastically reduce plastic pollution. Read our FAQs here to learn more about the legislation and ways to get involved in addition to signing the petition.

Sign the Plastic Petition


The Los Angeles County Department of Beaches and Harbors and Heal the Bay collaborate during National Coastal Cleanup Day at Dockweiler State Beach. The event included cleaning up the beach, family-friendly activities, and a chance to enter the Can the Trash! Clean Beach Poster Contest. All Rights Reserved. No Commercial Use. Credit: Los Angeles County
Photo Credit: Mayra Vasquez, Los Angeles County

Attend a Special Event

Take part in community science, volunteer to clean up our communities, and celebrate with us at a special event all year long.

View Events


Become a Sustainer

Make a lasting gift in support of science-based education, advocacy, and community outreach in honor of your Plastic Pledge. Your generous monthly support of $9 starting this month sustains the health and growth of Heal the Bay, and ensures that L.A.’s water remains healthy, safe, and clean.

Make a $9 Gift

 



Heal the Bay community

From community science to clean water, volunteers are needed to protect our natural environment.

We’re announcing our Earth Month 2019 calendar with hands-on events and volunteer opportunities, happening in Los Angeles County throughout the month of April. Our special Earth Month event series celebrates, protects, and improves our neighborhoods, coastal waters, rivers, creeks, and beaches in Los Angeles County. We expect thousands of participants throughout the month. Individuals, families, schools, businesses, and community organizations are all invited to attend the following events. No special training or experience is required. Pre-registration is strongly encouraged at healthebay.org/earthmonth!

In addition to the Earth Month event series, Heal the Bay is asking Californians to reduce plastic pollution by taking the Plastic Pledge and signing the Plastic Petition in support of State Bill 54 and Assembly Bill 1080, known formally as the California Circular Economy and Plastic Pollution Reduction Acts.

Volunteer Orientation at Heal the Bay’s Aquarium under the Santa Monica Pier
Monday, April 8 @ 6:30pm – 8:30pm
Heal the Bay will host a special Volunteer Orientation during Earth Month to discuss engagement opportunities and policy initiatives. This orientation is ideal for those curious about local volunteer programs, but are unsure about which best fits their needs.

Free Cone Day at Ben & Jerry’s Venice Beach
Tuesday, April 9 @ Noon – 8pm
Heal the Bay is celebrating Free Cone Day with Ben & Jerry’s Venice Beach. FREE cones of ice cream will be given out while supplies last. Meet some of the Heal the Bay team while you visit the Ben & Jerry’s Venice Beach location – and feel free to pass on the love with a small donation to Heal the Bay. Ben & Jerry’s Venice Beach will also start eliminating single-use plastics in their business by switching to wooden spoons and paper straws.

Beach Cleanup north of the Santa Monica Pier
Saturday, April 20, 10am – Noon
Last April, 1,000 volunteers picked up 183 pounds of trash and debris that would have otherwise entered our ocean. We hope to better those totals this year at our big public cleanup north of the Santa Monica Pier. Cleanup participants earn same-day free admission to Heal the Bay’s Aquarium under the Santa Monica Pier. *This event is now SOLD OUT! What does this mean? We’ve run out of supplies, so you need to bring your own gloves and buckets to participate in the cleanup.)

Heal the Bay x Golden Road Art Pop Up Art Gallery at the Rose Room in Venice (21+ event)
Saturday, April 20, Noon – 10pm
Taste Heal the Bay IPA and the brand new Hazy Heal the Bay draught at our 2nd Annual Earth Day Art Gallery Pop Up with Golden Road Brewing. Golden Road Brewing, maker of the Heal the Bay IPA, is hosting the second annual Heal the Bay Pop Up on Saturday, April 20 at The Rose Room in Venice. Golden Road Brewing started brewing Heal the Bay IPA in March 2014, with a percentage of every barrel sold supporting Heal the Bay’s work. Stop by to taste the Heal the Bay IPA beer and the new Hazy draught and see exhibiting local artists.

Earth Day Celebration at Heal the Bay’s Aquarium
Saturday, April 20, 11am – 5pm
Heal the Bay’s award-swimming Aquarium under the Santa Monica Pier has programmed a day filled with fun activities for all ages. Families can experience the Santa Monica Bay and see all the local animals without getting their feet wet. Short film screenings, Earth Day-themed story time, live animal presentations, face painting, and an eco-themed crafts station will round out the celebration in the Aquarium. In addition, visitors who walk to the west end of the Santa Monica Pier will find a wildlife station stocked with binoculars and bird identification guides.

We are also launching a special virtual exhibit on Earth Day 2019 — a 360-degree exploration of marine protected areas off Catalina Island in California. You’ll be able to wear some special goggles and take a virtual dive under the Pacific Ocean. If you’re lucky you might even come face-to-face with a giant sea bass, a rare and endangered denizen of the deep.

TrashBlitz L.A. in San Pedro
Starts on Saturday, April 20, 10am – Noon
The inaugural TrashBlitz L.A. kicks off on April 20 in the Los Angeles River and surrounding watershed communities. Together, volunteers will remove trash and identify the top brands on packaging labels that are polluting the L.A. River and nearby areas. The results of this TrashBlitz will be used to support local and statewide policies and strategies to reduce waste. Heal the Bay is co-hosting the event with 5 Gyres, Friends of the LA River, Surfrider-Long Beach/Los Angeles, Algalita, Space Center, Greenpeace, Multicultural Learning Center, The Bay Foundation, Adventures in Waste, Sierra Club, Loyola Marymount University, Tree People, Team Marine, Los Angeles Waterkeeper, Padres Pioneros, Pacoima Beautiful, Los Angeles Yacht Club, Climate Reality Project, Azul, LA Maritime Institute, Adventures in Waste, Plastic Pollution Coalition, El Nido.

City Nature Challenge all over Los Angeles County
Friday, April 26 – Monday, April 29
The City Nature Challenge is a global effort for people to find and document wildlife in cities. Over 130 cities around the world are competing in the City Nature Challenge, including Los Angeles! For the fourth year in a row, Heal the Bay is rallying everyone in Los Angeles County to get outside, snap photos of any plant, animal, fungi, slime mold, or any other evidence of life (scat, fur, tracks, shells, carcasses!), and share observations using the iNaturalist app. The City Nature Challenge is organized by the Natural History Museum and the California Academy of Sciences. Free iNaturalist training will be provided at Heal the Bay’s Aquarium on April 13, 2pm-4pm.

View Earth Month Calendar


Become a Sustaining Member

Make a lasting gift in support of science-based education, advocacy, and community outreach in honor of Earth Month. Your generous monthly support of $9 starting this Earth Month sustains the health and growth of Heal the Bay, and ensures that L.A.’s water remains healthy, safe, and clean.

Make a $9 Gift for Earth Month

Looking for more ways to get involved? Stay connected with us by signing up for our newsletter and following us on social media at Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.



honor the ocean 2018

We are blessed to live in a place where we are rich in history, diversity and ecology. And we should take every opportunity granted to us to celebrate this.

This past fall, the Los Angeles County Marine Protected Area (MPA) Collaborative Network hosted the 2nd annual Honor the Ocean event at Zuma Beach in the City of Malibu to acknowledge and celebrate Chumash maritime culture, stewardship and science efforts to preserve and protect the ocean. From seeing dolphins to hearing stories about dolphins, here are my top 4 moments from the event.

4: Enjoying the Bay

Surfers of all ages paddled out in the water. Seeing them get on their boards was thrilling because they were so excited to catch a wave. Like Phil Edwards once said, “The best surfer out there is the one having the most fun.” Edwards makes a great point. Even though surfing is a challenging sport, you simply can’t help but have fun. The more fun you have, the more you want to practice it. And with practice comes passion. This quote can apply to anything in life, really.

3. Celebrating the Chumash People

The Chumash and the Gabrielino-Tongva peoples were the First People of the Channel Islands and Santa Monica Mountains areas. I learned so much about their traditions and culture at the event. To kick off the event we all surrounded the tomol, which is redwood sewn-plank canoe. Pretty amazing!

There was a Ceremonial Chumash blessing that was led by Mati Waiya, Founder and Executive Director of the Wishtoyo Foundation. After the blessing, we had the opportunity to talk to one of the members of the Chumash Women’s Elders Council. She encouraged all the youth to carry forward the Chumash tradition of protecting the environment for future generations. Her words and wisdom were inspiring.

2. Story time!

No amount of technology can replace the beauty of live, spoken word storytelling. At the event, the Chumash people shared a beautiful story about dolphins and how singing a special blessing can bring dolphins closer to us on land. Just as the story came to a close, the crowd spotted dolphins leaping out of the ocean. Coincidence? I think not! It was pure joy. Which leads me to what’s next…

dolphin symbol on the tomol

1. Dolphins!!!

No doubt, dolphins are awesome. And it’s truly mind-blowing to think about how much humans have in common with them. We both feel sadness, pain, anger and happiness. We protect our young and we do our best to stay together as a family (pod). It was thrilling to see a small pod of dolphins swimming by during the Honor the Ocean event. Especially since dolphins were etched on the tomol and a centerpiece during story time. What a magical moment to have witnessed.

At the closing of a wonderful day, the Chumash leaders gave us a few heartfelt suggestions that I wanted to pass along to you:

  • Bless the day that we have been given to see.
  • Give thanks for the sun that rises in the distance.
  • Less screen time, more real time!

So what are you waiting for? Go out and discover something new.

Thanks to all the Honor the Ocean event partners for a great day: Wishtoyo Foundation, City of Malibu, Chumash Maritime Foundation, Los Angeles County Lifeguards, Los Angeles Waterkeeper, The Bay Foundation, California Conservation Association, Cabrillo Marine Aquarium, Santa Monica Mountains Restoration Conservation District, California Department of Fish and Wildlife, and USC Sea Grant Program.


About the Author:

Lidia Grande-Ruiz is a Digital Advocacy Intern on Heal the Bay’s Communications team. She has also volunteered at the Santa Monica Pier Aquarium. Lidia is currently a Film Production student at Santa Monica College. Aside from her love of the ocean, she’s also obsessed with Buffy, Bones, reading, writing and orcas! 😀



We have just released our 2019 Events Calendar. In addition to our BIG monthly Heal the Bay cleanups that happen on the third Saturday of the month, we’re offering monthly Volunteer Orientations on the second Monday of the month.

Another exciting opportunity that’s new in 2019 is our weekly Sand Crab Science activity happening every Wednesday at Heal the Bay’s Santa Monica Pier Aquarium. Our Aquarium continues to offer Sea Star Feeding, Story Time and Shark activities on a weekly basis, too.

If you’re looking for light community service work, we suggest becoming a Wednesday Warrior to provide Heal the Bay with office support.

View Events Calendar


Wanna roll up your sleeves and become a Heal the Bay Volunteer?

We have five distinct volunteer programs that we offer. Each program has a specific training associated with it, as well as its own volunteer roles.

Aquarium – Aquarium volunteers work at our Santa Monica Pier Aquarium. They support various public programs from interpreting at touch tanks to ensuring the success of private events. They also attend outreach events and represent Heal the Bay all over Los Angeles County.

Beach – Beach Captain volunteers support our large Nothin’ But Sand beach cleanups that occur every third Saturday of the month. They are also involved in other beach programs like Suits on the Sand, and have the opportunity to attend Coastal Cleanup Day Site Captain training.

Outreach – These volunteers take Heal the Bay knowledge all over Los Angeles. Speakers Bureau volunteers present in classrooms, in business meetings, at beach cleanups, festivals and more.

Community Science – MPA Watch Volunteers survey Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) in Malibu and Palos Verdes. They monitor, collect data, and get to walk along some of California’s most stunning beaches.

Youth – Middle and high school students register their school club with Club Heal the Bay to be part of a larger environmental advocacy community. In return, clubs receive recognition and rewards for their civic action projects.


Get Started at Volunteer Orientation

We’re offering the following Volunteer Training opportunities in 2019. Sign up for a Volunteer Orientation to get started. You will then be able to register for the trainings you are interested in. It is required that you attend the Volunteer Orientation first, so please sign up before the month’s listed below so you don’t miss the Volunteer Training.

  • Speakers Bureau Volunteer Training – February 2019 & July 2019
  • Street Fleeting Volunteer Training – March 2019
  • Beach Captain Volunteer Training – January 2019, March 2019, May 2019
  • Coastal Cleanup Day Captain Volunteer Training – June 2019, July 2019, August 2019
  • Marine Protected Area Watch Volunteer Training – February 2019, June 2019 and September 2019
  • Aquarium Volunteer Training – March 2019, June 2019, October 2019

Sign Up for Volunteer Orientation



Talia Walsh, Heal the Bay communications associate director, shares this year’s preliminary list of beach trash finds in Los Angeles, California.

Coastal Cleanup Day is an annual community volunteering effort that reveals insights about the nature of ocean pollution. The 2018 Coastal Cleanup Day event in L.A. County brought together 13,464 individuals who removed over 29.8 tons of ocean-bound trash from 78 cleanup sites in 3 hours. These piles of trash tell a compelling story.

Gleaning early results reported anecdotally by Heal the Bay’s cleanup captains and volunteers, here are this year’s most common — and weirdest — hand-picked beach trash finds in L.A.:

Beach Trash Finds in Emoji:

  1. 🥤 Plastics:  Single-use drink & food containers, Polystyrene, Tiny plastic pieces
  2. 🚬 Smoking-Related:  Cigarette butts, Lighters, Cannabis packaging
  3. ♻️ Recyclables: Glass, Paper, Metal
  4. 💉 Medical and Hygiene:  Syringes, Condoms, Diapers
  5. 💩 Feces:  Humans, Pets, Unknown
  6. 💊 Drugs:  Pipes, Powders, Pills
  7. 🎣 Fishing Gear: Traps, Hooks, Nets
  8. 🚗 Automobile Parts:  Frames, Engines, Tires
  9. 📱 Lost & Found:  Wedding Rings, Watches, Phones
  10. 👟 Shoes:  Sandals, Sneakers, Wedges
  11. 🏄🏻 Broken Boards: Surfboards, Paddleboards, Boogie boards
  12. 💼 Suitcases: Wardrobe change, please!
  13. 🔋 e-Waste: Cords, Parts, Batteries
  14.  🗡️ Weapons: Bullets, Shivs, Knives
  15. 🛴 Electric Scooters: Underwater e-scooter hunt, anyone?

Looking at the above list, it seems we need to rapidly evolve our manner of thinking about product design and usability to combat rising ocean pollution. Here are some ways to start getting involved locally:

Coastal Cleanup Day is one of 735 cleanups Heal the Bay hosts a year. Check out our Marine Debris Database that houses information for 4 million pieces of trash collected by Heal the Bay volunteers in Los Angeles County. See the latest water quality updates for your favorite beach by installing our new Beach Report Card app for iOS or Android — and — visit the website at beachreportcard.org for the latest grades.


View L.A. County’s results from Coastal Cleanup Day 2018


View California’s results from Coastal Cleanup Day 2018


Take Part

Check out our next beach cleanup in L.A. County! Stay tuned for the full International Report for Coastal Cleanup Day to be released in the coming months. And sign up to receive a Registration Alert for Coastal Cleanup Day 2019.

 



Amanda Wagner, Heal the Bay’s watershed research fellow, recently attended Gov. Brown’s Global Climate Action Summit 2018 as an official youth delegate from UCLA. Despite negative headlines about climate, she left feeling enthusiastic.

The Global Climate Action Summit, recently held in San Francisco by California Gov. Jerry Brown, brought together NGOs, governments, and private companies from all over the world to talk about climate change and potential solutions.

The event inspired me, especially at a time when climate change disasters seem to be making headlines every day and there seems a lack in leadership in Washington D.C. to address these challenges head on.

A majority of the summit consisted of politicians and CEOs announcing their commitment to a low-carbon future. But several sidebar events focused on narrower themes. Most excitingly, the Ocean-Climate Action Agenda became a key summit challenge.

In the context of climate change, oceans are crucial for maintaining a stable climate. They absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and provide oxygen in return. Maintaining a healthy ocean will be key to curbing climate change.

Unfortunately, climate change is already negatively impacting the ocean by acidifying and warming the waters. Here in Southern California we’ve already made headlines this year with record-breaking temperatures. Our oceans are also acidifying, creating hostile and deadly conditions for many marine organisms. Other negative impacts such as over-fishing and pollution further strain the ocean.

The Ocean-Climate Agenda focuses on the ocean as part of the solution to climate change, rather than a victim. Fortunately, “the ocean is resilient, and it can recover if we help,” Julie Packard, executive director of the Monterey Bay Aquarium, pointed out during her talk.

A number of politicians and researchers, including Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, former U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, former NOAA Administrator Dr. Jane Lubchenco, and the Prime Minister of Fiji Frank Bainimarama spoke with great optimism and urgency about the ocean.

Among the most pressing recommendations: creating more Marine Protected Areas and investing in fishery reform. These two efforts can dramatically increase ocean resiliency and allow the sea to absorb more carbon.

Dr. Lubchenco called strongly for more protected areas of the ocean, citing the UN’s initiative to protect 30% of the world’s oceans by 2030. Currently only about 4% of the world’s oceans are protected compared to the 15% of land that is protected.

Heal the Bay played a crucial role in establishing Southern California MPAs and we continue to monitor them through our MPA Watch program. We love MPAs and know first-hand the great benefits they can provide to both the environment and the public. Protecting the oceans can help to capture and store more carbon, increase genetic diversity and create save havens for fish. They protect coastal ecosystems, which capture and store additional carbon from the atmosphere.

At the end of the ocean specific sessions, speakers offered up business-oriented solutions to the ocean climate crisis. Daniela Fernandez, founder and CEO of the Sustainable Ocean Alliance, highlighted her Ocean Accelerator program. The eight-week program brings together start-ups, investors, and mentors to develop innovative ocean solutions using technology.

Coral Vita introduced its unique for-profit business model of growing resilient, diverse coral on land-based farms for transplant into coastal regions. Rev-Ocean announced that in 2020 it will launch the largest research vessel on the sea. The ship will serve as a floating think tank for researchers and help improve collaboration and knowledge of sustainable solutions for protecting the ocean.

I am encouraged by the work we are doing in California and at Heal the Bay to protect our oceans. We must continue to protect them and increase the amount of ocean under protection. Creating more protected areas will help the ocean recover and become a partner with us in the fight against climate change. The summit showed progress can be made when smart people – from all sectors of public life – are committed to working together toward a common goal.



Heal the Bay staff-members are still buzzing about Al Gore’s recent Climate Reality Leadership Corps training, held at the end of August in Los Angeles. Key members of our outreach team attended the conference, learning how to talk to people about how the climate crisis affects them personally.  The training included discussions with business leaders, scientists, nonprofit leaders, students, entrepreneurs and innovators from across the globe.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti offered a tutorial on how to best engage with elected officials to effect change. Here are his tips, as relayed to us by Apryl Boyle, an attendee and chief aquarist at our Santa Monica Pier Aquarium:

Know your stuff. Don’t look unprepared. It always pays to be better educated on an issue than the elected official you are meeting. Thoroughly do your research and become a subject matter expert before you meet with policy makers. Determine what they’ve worked on, their education, and what their allegiances and goals are. You need to come off as an intelligent and confident citizen. Impress with your knowledge and poise.

Be specific. Don’t ask someone to save the entire world. Come with a finite ask on a specific program, e.g. supporting a piece of legislation. Do you want the oil well removed from your neighborhood? Would you like to see the smokestacks by your residence out of commission? Ask for a very specific action.

Be flexible. Get a small victory, bank it, and march forward. Advocates simply can’t get all their goals achieved exactly the way they envisioned them right from the start. However, if you can get a foot in the door, you can start moving closer to the seats of power. Think big, but start small.  A wise person once said that it’s better to have three-fourths of a loaf of bread than none at all. We have to settle for slices at times.

Be inclusive. Stop feeling special, entitled or smug as an environmentalist/activist. Give other stakeholders a break. Understand that most of us have the same goals, but differing opinions on how to reach them. You aren’t better than someone else simply because you work for a certain organization, marched in a particular march, or wrote more letters to your politicians for a certain campaign. Recognize where there is common ground and build from there. Don’t be divisive.

Be proactive. Lay out a plan. This again is part of doing the research. Simply bringing problems to anyone without a proposed solution isn’t adequate. You simply look like you’re complaining. If you want a solution, be the solution. Gather metrics, have goals, meet deadlines and ask for deadlines.



Este 15 de septiembre es el evento de voluntariado más grande del mundo!!! Es el Día de Limpieza Costera 2018. ¡Te invitamos a acompañarnos para que juntos hagamos historia!

Este evento anual ha sido reconocido por el Libro Guinness de los Records como “La mayor recolección de basura” y es coordinado por Heal the Bay y la Comisión Costera de California (California Coastal Commission) en el Condado de Los Ángeles. Una muestra del interés que los residentes y visitantes de LA tienen por el cuidado y protección de sus recursos acuáticos fue la masiva participación en el evento del año pasado. 10,200 voluntarios recogieron 11,5 toneladas de basura en 61 sitios diferentes!!!

Este año, Heal the Bay proyecta tener nuevamente más de 10,000 voluntarios en 70 sitios del Condado de Los Ángeles, incluyendo zonas costeras e internas, el río de Los Angeles y algunos puntos submarinos estratégicos.

¿Cómo participar?

Para ser voluntario en este grandioso evento es necesario registrarse en www.healthebay.org/ccd, reservar la mañana del 15 de septiembre de 9 a 12:00 pm, y si es posible, llevar guantes, balde y bolsas reusables.

No hay límite de edad para participar en el evento y no es necesario ningún tipo de entrenamiento o experiencia previa. ¡Solo el deseo de ayudar a limpiar!!!

¿Dónde?

Los sitios establecidos son los siguientes:

  • Zonas internas: Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook, Ballona Creek Bike Path, L.A. River, Lake Balboa, Sepulveda Basin Wildlife Reserve, Madea Creek, Avalon Gardens, Arroyo Seco, Compton Creek, Elysian Valley Gateway Park, Ken Malloy Harbor Regional Park, Koreatown, Pacoima y Hyde Park Boulevard.
  • Zonas costeras: Hermosa Beach, Malibu, Manhattan Beach, Marina del Rey, Pacific Palisades, península Palos Verdes, Playa del Rey, Redondo Beach, San Pedro, Santa Mónica, Torrance, Topanga y Venice.
  • Zonas de restauración de hábitat: LAX Dunes y the Ballona Wetlands Ecological Reserve, Alta Vicente Reserve; Medea Creek, y  Gardena Willows Wetland Preserve.
  • Puntos submarinos: Malibu Pier, Leo Carrillo State Beach, Redondo County Beach, Dockweiler State Beach, y Santa Mónica Pier.

La población latina en Los Angeles es muy significativa y juega un papel fundamental en la recuperación y conservación del medio ambiente de la región. Consientes de esto, instituciones como Anahuak, Pacoima Beautiful y Bell Gardens High School vienen apoyando activamente las actividades de la organización. Asimismo, se han establecido varios lugares de recolección como en Koreatown y a través de la ciudad en zonas donde la población hispana es numerosa.

¡Esta es una gran oportunidad para hacer algo concreto para nuestra familia, nuestra comunidad, nuestra ciudad y nuestro entorno!!!

Latinos en otros países

Este evento tiene lugar alrededor del mundo y por supuesto los latinos estarán presentes en otros países para trabajar juntos en la reducción de la contaminación de los recursos acuáticos. Países como México, Guatemala, Costa Rica, República Dominicana, Panamá, Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador, Perú y España estarán participando en esta jornada global para remover toneladas de plástico, entre otros.

¡Pequeños cambios pueden hacer una gran diferencia!



Looking for a good read this summer? Talia Walsh, Heal the Bay’s Associate Director of Communications, has a new book recommendation just for you!

Children’s doctor, immigrant and mom, Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha captured national attention as the whistleblower for the Flint Water Crisis. In her new book titled, “What the Eyes Don’t See: A Story of Crisis, Resistance, and Hope in an American City”, she opens up about today’s public and environmental health issues reverberating in cities across America.

From the front lines of Flint, Michigan, Dr. Mona’s story inspires and challenges us to better understand adversity in our communities. She urges each one of us, who has had the privilege of realizing the American Dream, to pass it forward to the next generation.

Ahead of Dr. Mona’s visit to Los Angeles on July 11 at the ALOUD event, we caught up with her about the new book — a must-have on your summer reading list.

HTB: You’ve remained FOCUSED and you’ve kept our attention on the Flint Water Crisis. This is no easy feat in today’s 24/7 news cycle. How do you stay focused?

DR. MONA: The kids that I care for absolutely ground me every day. They remind me what this work is about. It’s easy to get angry, its easy to get jaded, it’s easy to point fingers. But, when your mission is protecting the future of children, that is what enables me to keep my focus, and to fight in a science-driven way for what is right for them.

Heal the Bay: What’s the biggest takeaway lesson from your Flint Water Crisis experience?

DR. MONA: Flint is not an isolated story. There are the same crises happening in cities all across our nation. From issues with democracy and environmental injustice, to austerity, the breakdown of infrastructure and the neglect for children. The biggest takeaway lesson from Flint was that we opened our eyes and we said, this is not how it should be and we can make a change. You have the power and you have a role to stand up for your environment and our children.

HTB: Immigration is a big theme in your new book. As a child, you immigrated to this country from Iraq with your parents. What words of encouragement do you have for immigrant families facing adversity today?

DR. MONA: What’s happening in our nation today touches me on so many levels. As a pediatrician, it is disturbing. I know the consequences of trauma. From facing difficult situations to being separated from family to being discriminated against once in this country. Those traumas, from a medical and behavioral health perspective, impact children for their life-course trajectories.

I wrote this book, not only to share the lessons of Flint, not only to inspire folks to be active, to resist, and to work to better their communities. But, it was also the intent to share positive immigrant stories, especially of Arab-Americans, who we were going to ban from this country and who we only associate with war and terrorism. 

As an immigrant, as a kid who came to this country when I was four… by and large, I was welcomed with open arms. I grew up very confident and competent. That is not happening right now. Ultimately, besides the native people, we are a nation of immigrants. If those doors were closed to me when I was four, you wonder what we are missing out on in this nation because of folks who no longer come here for that opportunity, for that freedom. So as an immigrant it’s also disturbing. And then, as a mom, as a parent, it’s heartbreaking, especially with the separations.

This book is a fast-paced story about what happened in Flint. It’s also a memoir.

To understand my role in this crisis, you have to understand where I came from and who I am… the lens through which I see the world. And [the topic of immigration] probably would not have been as big in this book, if it were not for the last election.

HTB: With all of this going on today in the U.S. and from your experience on a hyper-local level in Flint, is the AMERICAN DREAM still alive for you?

DR. MONA: The American Dream was what we came for, me and my family, in 1980. It was absolutely realized for me and my family. We reaped the American Dream. My parents came here with nothing besides their education. They worked hard. They sent their kids to public schools and received a great education. We are a consequence of the American Dream. But, that is being closed on folks. Not only for incoming immigrants, but also for my kids in Flint.

My kids in Flint — it’s like two Americas — they wake up to a nightmare.

Even before the water crisis, it has been a nightmare for kids in Flint and kids throughout our country who live with so many toxicities. Not only the toxicity of contaminated water, but the toxicity of poverty, violence, crumbling schools, discrimination, racism and all of the other adversities that impact them. In places like Flint, just like many others in this country, the zip code you are born in predicts your life-course trajectory. It is hard to change your situation in life when you have so much adversity piled up against you. [These kids] don’t have access to the American Dream like I did.

HTB: Do you think democracy can ever be restored in Flint, especially for the African-American community who were disproportionally impacted by the Flint Water Crisis?

DR. MONA: Flint is an extreme example where democracy was usurped. The city was under state-appointed emergency management. At one point in 2013, half of African-Americans in Michigan were under emergency management, as compared to 2% of Whites. Grossly undemocratic, no accountability, no role for elected officials. But, this is similar to other issues in this country in regards to lack of democracy. Look what’s happening with gerrymandering, voter disenfranchisement, mass incarceration. We are shifting populations and we are minimizing the voice of certain people.

Going back to Flint, the power of the local officials has been restored. The Mayor does have power back. But the city was starved for so long, it’s hard to be fully functioning when your capacity was so limited. You know, it will take a long time to be a functioning democracy.

HTB: When you started this journey in Flint, who were your LOCAL ALLIES to get things done?

DR. MONA: One of the reasons I did not want to write this book was that this story is NOT about me! This story is about a team. It took a team of folks — a random, diverse group of professionals that all came together for the same cause. It was moms, activists, pastors, local faith-based organizations, nonprofits, the ACLU, the EPA, a water scientist from Virginia, my girlfriend who works at a nonprofit water group. It was a mix of folks that opened up their eyes together to uncover this story. That is such an important lesson.

So often in our work, whatever our work may be, we are very siloed. We only work with people who do the exact same thing that we do. And we don’t realize the other solutions out there in different disciplines, from people who look different than us, who live somewhere else and who vote different than us, yet who also care about the same things. The beauty is being able to find that village and come together.

HTB: What about the ratepayers, the consumers of the water themselves. How do they stay informed about local water issues?

DR. MONA: It’s hard. The people of Flint have been heroic. They were the first to raise the alarm bells. Amazing moms and activists who pushed every button and started the domino effect of uncovering this crisis. There are folks in Flint that suffer from incredible obstacles to information and access. We have a 60% poverty rate for our children… huge transportation issues, literacy issues… there are so many obstacles associated with poverty that have made communication and information-sharing quite difficult.

That’s why things in Flint are always done at the grassroots level.

The folks who go door-to-door are your neighbors; they are the ones helping with the water filter installation and the maintenance.

HTB: In Los Angeles County, there are many GRASSROOTS efforts. What words of wisdom do you have for grassroots leaders and clean water advocates here in L.A.?

DR. MONA: One of the reasons I wrote this book is to be an inspiring call to action. [This book] is about the people, places and problems that we choose not to see. We all have to open our eyes. When we work together we can tap into this incredible power that is within all of us to create change. There couldn’t be a more timely moment to share that message with what is happening in our nation—where there is an incredible need for ongoing activism and informed communities.

Buy the book

Meet the author on July 11


A Quick Refresher on the Flint Water Crisis

Before Flint, Michigan realized its water crisis in 2014, the city was nearing bankruptcy and took a series of deliberate actions to cut costs. When Governor Rick Snyder declared an emergency in the state, he removed a swath of elected government positions and appointed “emergency managers” into these roles. His swift move created the conditions for a murky view into local public policy.

As if losing the right to vote and access to public information was not enough a blow to overcome, community members in Flint had no say when state-appointed emergency managers hastily switched the drinking water source and treatment policy.

In a temporary plan to save the city of Flint money, emergency managers claimed they could cut costs by sourcing water from the Flint River instead of the Great Lakes. The new plan did not include sufficient water treatment procedures like corrosion control, a method to avoid lead leaching into the water, which is outlined in the federal Safe Drinking Water Act. As a direct result, nearly 100,000 Flint residents were exposed to lead and harmful bacteria.

When the community began complaining about the condition of the water coming out of their taps, they were not getting any straight answers from city officials. Flint residents were left defenseless — their ability to vote and hold local officials accountable had been taken away by the Governor. They were cut off from critical information. Yet they persevered.

Community heroes like Dr. Mona began to listen, connect the dots and speak up.

Today the water in Flint, Michigan still needs to be filtered or residents must use bottled water. But, conditions are improving and there is a big plan underway to replace all of the corroded lead pipes in the region. Some justice is also being served. Over a dozen individuals and water infrastructure firms involved in the Flint Water Crisis are currently being investigated for felony and misdemeanor criminal charges, including negligent homicide, conspiracy and misconduct in office.

If Dr. Mona and other water warriors did not turn their knowledge into action, if they did not use their chorus of voices to create a platform for change, it’s unclear how long the Flint community would have suffered from lead poisoning and exposure to other harmful toxins.



stormwater in los angeles county heal the bay

 

1. MAKE YOUR VOICE HEARD

Attend the Public Hearing

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.

We are going to turn greater L.A. into a sponge, harvesting billions of gallons of rain for reuse instead of sending it uselessly to the sea!  There are dozens of reasons to support increased capture of rainwater and other urban runoff.

These projects would:

  • 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!

 


 

2. CONTACT YOUR ELECTED SUPERVISOR

Send a Tweet

If you can’t make it to the public hearing in person, you can still take action! If you live in greater Los Angeles, please contact your supervisor to show your support during this critical time:

Look up your district by your zip code.

Then, find your district’s elected Supervisor:

  • First District: Hilda L. Solis
  • Second District: Mark Ridley-Thomas
  • Third District: Sheila Kuehl
  • Fourth District: Janice Hahn
  • Fifth District: Kathryn Barger

Next, call or email your Supervisor:

“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.”

First District: Hilda L. Solis
Phone: 213-974-4111
Email: firstdistrict@bos.lacounty.gov

Second District: Mark Ridley-Thomas
Phone: 213-974-2222
Email: markridley-thomas@bos.lacounty.gov

Third District: Sheila Kuehl
Phone: 213-974-3333
Email: sheila@bos.lacounty.gov

Fourth District: Janice Hahn
Phone: 213-974-4444
Email: fourthdistrict@bos.lacounty.gov

Fifth District: Kathryn Barger
Phone: 213-974-5555
Email: kathryn@bos.lacounty.gov

Finally, send a Tweet to your Supervisor:

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

 


 

3. GET THE FACTS

Add Your Name to Our Petition

The Safe, Clean Water Program treats runoff as a resource—not a nuisance. Watch Meredith McCarthy, Interim Operations Director at Heal the Bay, explain why we need to save more stormwater in L.A.

OurWaterLA, a coalition of leading environmental, labor and social justice organizations, is united behind The Safe, Clean Water Program. See our joint letter to the L.A. County Board of Supervisors: