Heal the Bay Blog

Category: Marina del Rey / Playa del Rey

Sustain the “doing good” momentum generated by the Giving Tuesday initiative and make a difference in your community. Not all giving needs to be material (although we appreciate the donations). Here are three ways this week that you can give back with Heal the Bay:

In case you are feeling material, our holiday shopping guide is up with all kinds of gift options for the ocean lovers in your life. The guide is also handy for sharing when someone asks what you want for Hanukkah or Christmas this year. 

Visit Heal the Bay’s calendar to discover more ways to get involved.

Last month’s debate and hearing over the new stormwater permit for Los Angeles became contentious for Heal the Bay.  We weren’t happy with the final vote at the regional Water Board, but fortunately there’s a new initiative afoot that could have a real positive impact on local water quality – Los Angeles County’s Clean Water, Clean Beaches Measure.

Despite the differing views on how to regulate cities that discharge runoff into the Bay, the various stakeholders involved all want the same thing: clean water.  It may sound a bit idealistic, but the best way to make progress on stormwater is to have government agencies, business groups and environmental organizations join hands and work together. That is why Heal the Bay strongly supports the Clean Water, Clean Beaches Measure, which will be mailed to property owners next spring.

The County of Los Angeles Flood Control District is proposing to establish an annual clean water fee to fund the Clean Water, Clean Beaches Program.  This Program is an opportunity for Los Angeles County residents to reduce harmful trash and pollution in our waterways and protect local sources of drinking water from contamination. The measure would provide $270 million in funding for innovative stormwater projects that would create multiple economic and environmental benefits for the entire region. These projects serve multiple functions. For example, a stormwater infiltration area could be designed in such a way that it will double as open space, park or local ball field.

Securing clean water in a heavily urbanized environment such as Los Angeles doesn’t happen overnight. It requires resources.  And regional waterbodies are well-worth protecting. Locals and tourists alike frequent Los Angeles County’s beaches, yet 7 out of the 10 of California’s most polluted beaches are right in our own backyard.  This means that a day at the beach could make you or your family sick.  Pollution that runs off our streets can be toxic to fish and other species.  As a result some fish species in our Bay are unsafe to eat.  Trash pollution is so extreme in some areas of the County that our rivers look more like trash dumps.  The current paradigm needs to shift.    

Investing in clean water now will pay dividends for years to come. Nearly 400,000 jobs in Los Angeles County are ocean-related, responsible for $10 billion annually in wages and $20 billion in goods and services.  In addition, the measure will result in thousands of new jobs for our region.  

Currently Los Angeles County depends on importing costly and increasingly scarce water from Northern California and the Colorado River. Storm water can serve as a sustainable, cost-effective local source of drinking water.  The measure would fund innovative infrastructure projects throughout the region that capture and reuse stormwater — before it enters our waterways. Stormwater becomes an asset, rather than a liability.

Our region’s water quality has come a long way, since Heal the Bay started working for a healthier Bay in 1985.  However, we have a long way to go.  The Clean Water, Clean Beaches measure will help us meet our goals for clean water. The average homeowner would pay roughly $54 a year to support projects like green streets, stormwater recharge areas and “smart” trash capture systems. Strict accountability elements in the measure ensure all funds will be exclusively used on improving water quality.

We urge your support of this critical measure. Watch your mailbox in late spring, but in the coming weeks we’ll keep you posted on new developments.

Learn more about the Clean Water, Clean Beaches Measure

The EPA released its final National Recreational Beach Water Quality Criteria this week. After many years of fighting for strong protections, we are greeting the new standards with mixed emotions. The criteria, which hadn’t been updated since 1986, basically determine the allowable levels of illness-inducing bacteria in our nation’s waterbodies. They are a critical tool for ensuring that people don’t get sick when they take a swim at their local beach or lake.

On the positive side, the new guidelines are more protective of public health in several respects than those floated in a surprisingly weak draft document last December. These improvements are thanks to the efforts of Heal the Bay and other environmental organizations.   

However, there are some major steps backwards from the 1986 criteria.  For instance, the new criteria allow for states to choose between two sets of standards based on two different estimated illness rates. Giving the states the option of selecting between two illness rates makes no sense.

Letting states determine their own “acceptable illness rates” allows for major inconsistencies in public health protection among states. What state, if left the choice, would sign-up for stricter standards? The less relaxed standard of the two is clearly less protective of public health, though EPA inaccurately claims that either set of criteria would protect public health.  Further, we do not believe the illness rates that were selected (32 or 36 allowable illnesses for every 1,000  recreators) are protective enough of public health. 

The EPA also missed a major opportunity to encourage states to provide more timely water quality results, through testing known as rapid methods.

Standard testing of water samples now take between 18-24 hours to process, meaning that the public is getting day-old water quality information, at best. EPA developed a rapid method that would get us closer to real-time measurement, therefore increasing public health protection. However, this method cannot be used as a stand-alone process under the new criteria, therefore leaving little incentive for states to move forward with more timely measurement.

The EPA is also providing too much wiggle room to municipalities in the new guidelines by allowing them to employ unproven alternative criteria at certain sites. So-called Quantitative Microbial Risk Assessment (QMRA) allows agencies to assess potential human health risks based strictly on the presence of different fecal sources including humans, birds, cows, and dogs. in the beach water. However, much research has yet to be conducted on illness rates and risk associated with specific sources. The alternative criteria are premature to use at most sites. QMRA should only be pursued at remote beach locations (non-urbanized) with no known human sources or influences.

However, not all was lost. Heal the Bay worked very hard to change the draft criteria’s proposed 90-day geometric mean standard to 30-days, which is more indicative of the latest beach water quality, thereby more protective of public health.  This change was made in the final criteria.

In addition, we made some headway with the allowable exceedance threshold.  If a water sample exceeds the bacteria standard it means there is a potential public health risk. A lower allowable exceedance rate will trigger action from the polluter more readily and this will increase public health protection.

So it’s encouraging to see the EPA lower the previously proposed national water quality exceedance threshold from 25% to 10% (above the standard), which is more in-line with California’s current allowable exceedance rates. An allowable exceedance rate of 25% could mask chronically polluted beaches, therefore inhibiting future water quality improvement efforts.

Over the past year, Heal the Bay, along with a coalition of concerned environmental groups, fought tirelessly to strengthen the draft criteria. We submitted detailed comments including an extensive data analysis to EPA, attended countless meetings with EPA staffers, and created a campaign centered on submitting hundreds of petitions directly to EPA’s Administrator, Lisa Jackson, urging for criteria with strong public health protection. 

We also solicited the support of members of congress, such as Congressman Henry Waxman, who expressed concerns to USEPA about their approach. (Kirsten James, our Water Quality Director, traveled to Washington, D.C. to lobby lawmakers on strengthening new recreational water quality criteria.)

We made several important steps forward to strengthen the EPA’s final revised standards. But we are concerned that having two sets of criteria could lead to confusion for the public and for those implementing the new criteria.  It may mean the status quo in some states, though hopefully states will choose the criteria more protective of public health.

To compound this, EPA’s Beach Grant fund, which allocates moneys towards state beach monitoring programs, may be completely eliminated in the near future. Absence of this support could lead to major backsliding of state beach programs. We are encouraging states to explore more sustainable funding sources in addition to implementing the more protective criteria, to better protect beach-goers from getting sick after a day at the beach.

Urge your congressional representative to support federal funding for beach water testing programs.

In the face of serious concerns from Heal the Bay, our environmental partners and the USEPA, the Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board adopted the proposed stormwater permit for L.A. County on November 8.

Since the summer, the Regional Board had been mulling a new stormwater permit that contained weakened water quality protections, which Heal the Bay argued could result in dirtier water, and a higher risk of getting sick any time you swim or surf in our local waters.

At various public meetings we galvanized public support through our “Take L.A. by Storm” campaign and urged the Regional Board to keep strong protections that must require cities and dischargers to meet safe water quality standards.

Throughout this process, we disputed the ongoing and erroneous assertion that implementing stormwater pollution plans will cost regional cities billions of dollars. Numerous municipalities around the nation have undertaken innovative and effective stormwater projects that provide multiple benefits at limited expense.

While we are disappointed with the outcome and the lack of strong and enforceable numeric limits, there are some positives within the permit: Very strong low-impact development requirements, strict compliance with beach bacteria dry-weather TMDLs (Total Mazimun Daily Loads) and increased receiving water monitoring, for example.

We are grateful to everyone who supported “Take LA By Storm” over the last few months! Without everyone’s strong advocacy, the permit would be in a much weaker state and we wouldn’t have these strong requirements in place.

Rest assured that over the next few weeks, we’ll be working with our enviro colleagues to discuss options on how to proceed from here.

Read more about what we are up against in this fight for clean water.Take L.A. By Storm!

Sign up for our Action Alerts to stay up to date on the Take L.A. by Storm campaign, or follow us on Twitter for real-time updates with the hashtag #LAbyStorm.

First things first: Don’t forget to vote on Tuesday! Once you’ve recovered from the election frenzy, we’re offering two ways to engage with us and your local environment on Thursday, Nov. 8.

First, stand up for clean water at the L.A. Regional Water board meeting, the public hearing regarding a revised stormwater permit. Written comments will no longer be accepted, but interested parties may present oral comments concerning revisions to the permit.

Afterwards, join us for music, refreshments and shopping at clothier Ted Baker (either the Santa Monica Place or Robertson Boulevard locations). Guests will receive an exclusive 10% Privilege Rate on the night, and 10% of proceeds will benefit Heal the Bay. Plus enter for the chance to win a $300 gift card!

On Saturday, you’re invited to join us to plant native Sycamore and willow trees and help restore the natural habitat of Malibu Creek State Park. This event is open to volunteers age 10 and over. Volunteers under 16 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. Those under 18 must have their waiver forms (also available at the event) signed by a parent or guardian.

Finally, as a reminder, our Aquarium will be closed for Veterans Day. Looking for a way to honor U.S. veterans, current military personnel and their families? Visit Volunteer Match to find opportunities to give back.

Want to plan next weekend’s Heal the Bay fun? Consult our calendar.

I’m a patient woman, but I’ve had enough.

I realize I will never get back the countless hours I’ve spent in stuffy, over-crowded public hearings listening to endless complaints from California dischargers. I realize some dischargers might actually believe that upholding the federal Clean Water Act and implementing basic water quality protections in their community will bankrupt their cities or industry.

But ongoing public hearings about determining appropriate storm water pollution limits for Los Angeles County’s 84 cities have set a new low for wheel-spinning and economic fear-mongering – all at the expense of clean water for the region’s nearly 10 million residents.

Many of the cities regulated in a soon-to-be-released updated municipal stormwater permit came out to plead poverty due to water quality regulations at last month’s meeting of the Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board. After months of debate, the board will issue the new permit this Thursday.

So what was all the fuss about?

Basically, any city that discharges water into the storm drain system, and ultimately the ocean, must abide by the regulations issued by the Regional Board as part of its permitting process. The rules require cities to implement different practices in their jurisdictions to ensure that their runoff doesn’t pollute local waterbodies. Examples of these requirements include building and maintaining trash capture devices at stormdrain outlets to ensure that debris doesn’t find its way into creeks, rivers and the ocean. Many of these requirements are basic practices, such as street sweeping, needed to maintain a healthy city aesthetic (permit or no permit).

During public hearings about the new permit, a long line of city managers came to the podium to relay dramatic stories of looming library closures and staff layoffs — all due to being compelled to implement water quality protections. They all urged the Regional Board to weaken existing and proposed limits.

Most notably, a city official from Vernon lamented that these proposed regulations would force his city to lay off 30-plus employees. Yes, you read that correctly – Vernon, the city that made headlines for lavishing huge salaries on top city officials. The city of 90 or so residents bankrolled million-dollar salaries and first-class air travel for its top managers. But now it can’t afford to keep its runoff free from metals, harmful bacteria and other pollutants before heading to the L.A. River and out to the beaches of Long Beach?

As Director of Water Quality at Heal the Bay, I work to convince decision-makers that our local waterbodies are well-worth protecting. It’s simple economics. Investing in clean water now will pay dividends for years to come. Nearly 400,000 jobs in Los Angeles County are ocean-related, responsible for $10 billion annually in wages and $20 billion in goods and services.

We’re a First World region, and we should have basic regulatory policies that reflect our commitment to clean water. Do we really want tourists coming to visit Los Angeles beaches and returning home with an illness after swimming in water polluted by urban runoff? Do we really want local resident feeding their family locally caught fish that contains DDT or PCB levels well above protective thresholds? Yet, the cities’ continued lobbying to weaken existing pollution requirements – and the board’s apparent willingness to consider their pleas – raises these troubling questions.

Waiting to testify at these protracted hearings, I often wonder how much truth there is in city managers’ assertions that spending on pollution prevention will perilously drain their coffers. So in advance of the October Regional Board hearing, our policy team did some digging that revealed this troubling fact: To curry favor with the Regional Board, a number of cities seem to be over-representing the amount of money that they are spending each year on complying with the permit.

Each year the cities must report to the Regional Board the actions they have taken to comply with the permit and the costs of implementation. We took a closer look at the reported expenditures in these Annual Reports to the Regional Board. In the latest release, we noticed a big red flag: the total spending on stormwater programs in 2011-12 by the 84 regulated cities and County was projected to increase 172% (237% when price adjusted) from the previous year. Such a dramatic increase in a single year is particularly glaring, given that overall stormwater spending since 2006 has decreased every year when price adjusted.

For example, Lynwood reported to the Regional Board that it would spend $10,679,915 more on stormwater projects in 2011-12 than it did the previous year –a fivefold increase. That kind of jump doesn’t pass the sniff test — $10 million in spending would equal more than 10% of the city’s entire annual budget. Lynwood may be doing some good work with stormwater pollution controls, but the reported numbers just didn’t seem plausible when compared to spending projections by cities with similar populations and geographic area.

As a next step, we took a sample of cities that showed the greatest single-year increase in proposed expenditures: Culver City, Diamond Bar, Lynwood, and South Pasadena. Comparing the four cities to other Los Angeles County cities with similar populations, land area and land area per capita, we continued to notice major discrepancies.

For example, South Pasadena projected to spend $28,697,450 to comply with the permit in 2011-2012, whereas Agoura Hills with a similar population size projected only $513,550 in spending. We simply can’t believe that South Pasadena is more vigilant about stormwater than Agoura Hills by a factor of 55. Comparing cities with similar geographic areas, South Pasadena projects to outspend San Marino, its nearby neighbor, by over $28 million.

To get to the bottom of this discrepancy, we examined the actual approved city budgets for cities in our sample. In the annual budget for Lynwood, managers claim to have had a storm water budget of $237,432 in 2010-11 and $313,140 in 2011-12. However, the numbers reported to the Regional Board were $2,308,085 and $12,988,000, respectively. We saw similar abnormalities in other cities.

Based on this cursory review, we have reached several conclusions:

  • Some municipalities appear to have mischaracterized their stormwater expenditures in their Regional Board Annual Reports,
  • City budgets and Regional Board-reported stormwater expenditures do not always match, and;
  • These findings call into question the validity of financial complaints made in testimony at the hearings.

Even the board’s staff has uncovered inconsistencies. In a presentation at the October hearing, Executive Officer Sam Unger noted “non-uniformity” in reporting and said “not all costs reported can be solely attributable to compliance with the requirements of the L.A. County MS4 Permit.”

It’s important to note that not all dischargers are manipulating numbers. Many are abiding by the permit and trying hard to reduce their contribution to water pollution. Many city managers work creatively within the constraints of city budgets to create stormwater programs with high impact and relatively low public cost. For example, the City of Los Angeles and Santa Monica passed far-reaching Low Impact Development Ordinances on their own initiative, requiring developers to infiltrate and capture runoff on-site before it heads to the sea.

Unfortunately, many dischargers seem to be making an impact on Regional Board members and staff with their emotional testimony – even if their numbers don’t add up.

The latest version of the permit is a major weakening from a draft issued in June without any sufficient justification. These changes may trim some city budgets, but to what end? Any short-term cutbacks in stormwater investments will maintain the status quo of dirty water and will come at a great cost to our ocean economy and our environment down the line.

As our case studies demonstrate, the Regional Board seems to be responding to a group of Chicken Littles crying disingenuously that the sky is falling due to environmental regulations.

The Regional Board will make a final decision on the permit at its Thursday hearing. I’m sure I’ll hear many more pleas of poverty due to environmental protection. I’m still hoping that the Regional Board will see that light and follow its sworn duty to safeguard our region’s water quality.

Vernon may be having major budgetary problems, but I’m certain they aren’t due to water quality regulations.

– Kirsten James

Water Quality Director, Heal the Bay

Join us November 8 at the public hearing on the revised draft of the stormwater permit.

This grassroots campaign needs your donations to stop the attack on clean water.

Sign up for our Action Alerts to stay up to date on the Take L.A. by Storm campaign, or follow us on Twitter for real-time updates with the hashtags #LAbyStorm and #CleanWater.

Earlier this month, I had the privilege to speak at a TEDx Santa Monica focused on the City 2.0, and in Santa Monica that focus was on sustainability.  There were City 2.0 events occurring all over the world on the same day.  It was such an honor to be a part of a cross-global event associated with such a respected brand and powerful idea. 

I had previously lost many an afternoon to TED and TEDx talks, and now my talk might make its way into someone else’s view list.  I can’t tell you how nervous I was and how much pressure I felt to live up to the prestige of the TED brand.  Give me a room full of anxious middle or high schoolers any day over the pressure to be as inspiring and as much of an agent for change on the scale that TED attempts!

On the other hand, I am proud to work for Heal the Bay, and I believe in our mission and in the power of education to help move our mission forward.  So, I showed up that Saturday afternoon in the hopes of imparting that message. I hope you are inspired to get involved where you can in encouraging science and environmental education in our cities of the future, our City 2.0.

  — Tara Treiber, Education Director, Heal the Bay

Watch Tara speak at TedX Santa Monica above, then watch more from the City 2.0 talks

Learn more about how Tara and her team of educators at Heal the Bay make the ocean relevant to students all across Los Angeles.

Help us bring more kids to the beach for the first time. Donate now.

Seeing the Heal the Bay flag fly high gives us a “Zing!” feeling. There’s not much we enjoy more than sharing our message… except when others share it for us with equal enthusiasm.

• Last weekend, Adventure Voyaging invited us along for the launch of Cruising Season. Captain Woody Henderson and Captain Jim Mather hosted our crew (Nina Borin, Development Manager, Corporate Relations & Special Events, and Eddie Murphy, Secondary Education Coordinator) on a trip to Catalina. Captain Mather and his family helped us spread the word to “Protect What You Love” Thank you to Adventure Voyaging! (Eddie and Nina pictured below with the Adventure Voyaging crew.)

Heal the Bay's Eddie and Nina with the Adventure Voyaging crew

• Multi-platinum album selling rock band Incubus just announced that they are helping Heal the Bay fund our anti-marine debris advocacy programs through their Make Yourself Foundation. We are thrilled with the partnership and want to thank the band (which originated in Calabasas!) for sustaining our work. Stay tuned for more exciting news to come!

• A HUGE shoutout goes to our team of Beach Captains who worked so hard to help us go Zero Waste at the October Nothin’ But Sand in Venice last Saturday: Barrett Porter, Terumi Toyoshima, Jerry & Joady Gorelick, Tom Logan, Margarita Lozano Trejo, Olga L. Ayala, “Minah” and the “UPS dad and daughter duo.”

Here’s what Zero Waste meant for these Beach Captains and our staff: Schlepping heavy buckets and tons of garden gloves to the beach and back. Not to mention getting every item returned and cleaned. A special “WHOOT!” to Eveline Bravo, our courageous Beach Programs Manager for implementing this innovative program. The payoff was worth it: 500 volunteers only used 13 garbage bags, versus the 200 we would normally use for a Nothin’ But Sand cleanup!

Join us for the next Zero Waste beach cleanup, scheduled for Nov. 17, 2012. Remember to bring your own bucket and gloves!

We’d also like to thank:

  • Soaptopia! Mention “Heal the Bay Fundraiser” at checkout and 15% comes back to us as part of their Grassroots Gratitude endeavor to fund our Aquarium, among our other programs. We are certainly grateful as we LOVE Soaptopia!
  • Ford Motor Company’s Community Changes program. Thank you, Ford! Get your next oil change through this program at one of four local dealerships (it doesn’t matter what make of car you drive) and name your price. Whatever amount you choose to pay will go directly to Heal the Bay. Register here.

Want to see your name here? You and/or your company can also help support Heal the Bay’s work to keep our local waters healthy and clean. Learn how.

Heal the Bay staff canvass Los Angeles County each week, hosting events and offering fun ways to engage with the local environment.

Tuesdays are the days that we really get going, with the weekly feeding time at our Aquarium, which starts at 3:30 p.m. during public hours. Come help us feed a sea star and then feed your kids at Rusty’s Surf Ranch. With proof of Aquarium entry, you’ll receive one free child’s meal with purchase of an adult meal. The Aquarium is located on the Santa Monica Pier, just below the carousel.

You’re also invited to return October 27-28 to the Aquarium’s Fishy Fest, our annual Halloween/Dia de los Muertos celebration from 12:30 to 5 p.m.  Experiment in the mad scientist laboratory, create colorful Dia de los Muertos crafts and masks. Costumes are encouraged, but you can also dress up in our costumes and pose with a marine themed backdrop at our photo booth. Both days will feature a glow in the dark bioluminescent deep-sea experience. Face painting and spooky story times are scheduled throughout the weekend as well. The weekly Saturday story time at 3:30 p.m. is guaranteed to be ghostly; and at 2:45 p.m. on Sunday, special guest author David Derrick, will read his new children’s book, “Animals Don’t So I Won’t.” Derrick is also a story artist at DreamWorks Animation and the author of  “Sid the Squid,” which he read last year to a captivated Aquarium audience. Shark-themed Sunday will also feature spine-tingling facts about these misunderstood marine creatures and a feeding at the shark exhibit. 

Check out the SMPA Pinterest site to get into the spooky mood!

Also this weekend, we’ll be hosting our first annual fall festival at WAYS park on Saturday, October 27, 2-5 p.m. Come carve a pumpkin, climb a hay bale and create an art or a craft!

Once the weekend’s over, it’s time to get Hallow-clean with Soaptopia, which is offering $1 donation to HtB for every bar of Beauty and the Beach or OCEAN’s 12 purchased. Mention “Heal the Bay Fundraiser” in the note section of checkout, and Soaptopia will donate 15 percent to Heal the Bay. Want a coupon? Become a Heal the Bay member through Soaptopia and receive a $10 coupon! Shop now.

Want to plan next weekend’s Heal the Bay fun? Consult our calendar.

Heal the Bay has been fighting to protect our local waters since 1985 and we’ve made a lot of friends along the way who steadfastly support our efforts.

For almost 20 years, actress and glamour gal Amy Smart’s been in our corner, fearlessly speaking up against plastic pollution. A Heal the Bay board member, Amy is often called upon to help us in our campaigns, whether it’s advocating for a Los Angeles plastic bag ban or Coastal Cleanup Day. Yet, she still finds creative ways of supporting us, including teaming up with her favorite clothing designer, Rachel Pally. Through October 13, Rachel Pally is donating 20% of all her proceeds to Heal the Bay. Thank you to Amy and Rachel for your help in sustaining our mission.

We also thank one of our neighbors, Rusty’s Surf Ranch. Bring your kids to the Aquarium on Tuesdays at 3:30 p.m. to help feed our sea stars, then head upstairs to Rusty’s Surf Ranch on the Pier where kids eat FREE with proof of Aquarium entry! One child’s meal is free with the purchase of an adult entree. Thank you, Rusty’s!

We’d like to take the time to thank the Grousbeck Family Foundation. If you check our Beach Report Card before you swim or surf, then you’ve benefited from their support. We appreciate their help in sustaining this valuable public health tool.

Heal the Bay thanks Feit Electric

We wish the Riding Currents team a bon voyage as they head south on their expedition along the California Coast, collecting water samples for us along the way! We’re grateful for the help gathering data for our water quality monitoring.

Last Saturday, employees from Feit Electric (pictured, right) did their part, by cleaning the beach in Hermosa and helping us defend our Bay from pollution! Thank you, Feit!

Protect your car and the ocean with the Ford Motor Company’s Community Changes program. Thank you, Ford! Get your next oil change through this program at one of four local dealerships (it doesn’t matter what make of car you drive) and name your price. Whatever amount you choose to pay will go directly to Heal the Bay. Register here.

It’s not too late! Order a tank or tee-shirt from Honu Yoga and they’ll donate 20% to Heal the Bay! Namaste. And, all through October, Casmaine Boutique (2914 Main Street in Santa Monica) will support Heal the Bay with every purchase of women’s clothes, jewelry or home décor.

Want to see your name here? You and/or your company can also help support Heal the Bay’s work to keep our local waters healthy and cleanLearn how.