Heal the Bay Blog

Category: Videos

If you’ve been planning to remove your lawn and replace it with water-wise landscaping instead, now’s the time!

The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power is currently offering a cash incentive from $1.50-$2 per square foot for residential customers who install “California friendly” plants and other water-conservation features. Commercial customers may receive $1 per square foot.

Grass is water-thirsty and high-maintenance, which is why LADWP is encouraging residents and businesses to remove their lawns. Forty percent of water use in L.A. occurs outdoors. And, as we prepare for the dry season, James McDaniel, senior assistant general manager of LADWP’s water system, points out:  “We need to find ways to save precious potable water for indoor uses.”

In addition, much of L.A.’s rainfall ends up just being wasted as it runs off into the storm drain system and eventually the ocean. This urban runoff contains dangerous pollutants for humans, animals and the environment.

Besides using California native plants, there are some innovative and appealing ways to enhance a landscape with non-vegetative groundcover or paving materials like decomposed granite, pea gravel, rocks, pebbles, mulch and wood chips. A list of landscaping options is available at

All customers must pre-apply for a rebate and receive LADWP approval before starting the turf replacement. LADWP will also inspect the lawn before and after the project. To get started, visit

Through a powerful collaboration between Holocaust survivors and teen filmmakers, Heal the Bay received a video gift that will definitely keep on giving.

Students produced It’s Not Just One, a public service announcement that vividly depicts the impact of littering on the health of our communities and ocean.

The PSA was created in a “Righteous Conversations Project” workshop held over the summer at Harvard-Westlake school aimed at students in 7th-11th grades from all over L.A.

These teens worked with Holocaust survivors to pinpoint injustices they wanted to confront together. Through the workshop they learned to harness the power of media messages, the ways video can be used to raise awareness and effect change.

Participating survivor Idele Stapholtz’s message was simple. “I was a child survivor,” she recalled sharing with the students. “To be a survivor in this world means that you need to understand and respect something precious, help save it and keep it pure.” 

It’s Not Just One was inspired by Harvard-Westlake freshman Michael Kellman’s love for the ocean. “I really wanted to do something about pollution in the ocean because the ocean is a huge part of my life,” he said. “I row crew in Marina del Rey every day and that’s my favorite thing in the world.”

Once the student filmmakers (Sarah McAllister, Kelly Morrison, Kyra Perez and Jordan Seibel) completed the PSA, they decided to gift it to Heal the Bay, which pleased Idele, a longtime supporter of Heal the Bay’s work. With her husband Ben, Idele spent years volunteering at what is now Heal the Bay’s Santa Monica Pier Aquarium.

“I thought It’s Not Just One was incredible. The result is so powerful,” she said.

Righteous Conversations launched in 2011 and is a project of Remember Us.  Harvard-Westlake’s Visual Arts and Film Chair Cheri Gaulke led the workshops.

Learn more about participating in the Righteous Conversation workshops.

Watch Heal the Bay’s videos, from mockumentaries to hip hop music videos and silent films.