Heal the Bay Blog

Category: South Bay

The landlord, the man in the gray suit, jaws, white pointer, tommy shark, great white – whatever you call it, the elusive white shark has long been the subject of lore and legend. I know it’s a given for a marine biologist, but I have always been fascinated by white sharks. I’m now actively working with ocean groups up and down the coast on an organized campaign to create stronger state and federal protections for these awe-inspiring and misunderstood animals.

Throughout my studies and career, I’ve heard stories of SCUBA divers on Catalina startled by the shadow of a white shark passing in the waters above, seen shots of surf photographers unintentionally capturing an image of them breaching while focusing on their main subject – surfers and fishermen encountering them while they are days offshore and far from civilization.

Since my college days, I told myself that I wanted to log enough ocean time to see a white shark in its natural environment, without luring it in or going to a spot with a high chance of an encounter. After living on a boat in Baja, spending years on the water teaching hands-on marine science on Catalina, and loads of time sailing, surfing, and diving in Southern and Central California, my moment finally came on a chilly September morning last year.

Seth Lawrence, an aquarist at the Santa Monica Pier Aquarium at the time, and I had taken his dinghy out in pursuit of the blue whales that were hanging out off the coast of Redondo Beach. It was an early, gray morning and the water was pure glass. After an hour of unsuccessfully searching for blue whales, we started to head into shore, and I saw a small fin at the surface in the distance.

I thought it was a Mola mola (ocean sunfish), pointed it out to Seth, and we cruised in the fish’s direction. As we got closer, we saw a second fin, and the animal was moving in an s-pattern characteristic of a shark. We were both excited, and drifting along, the animal soon became clear. It was a small white shark – about 3 ½ or 4 feet long – directly off the bow. I could have reached out and touched it!

We cruised along slowly behind it for a few minutes before it decided to dive to deeper waters. I was so excited to have my big fish story (and a shaky iPhone video to go along with it, complete with sounds of Seth and me in the background screaming with excitement). I consider myself lucky, as this is quite a rare occurrence, especially since we weren’t fishing or intentionally trying to see the landlord in a hot spot like the Farallon Islands or Guadalupe Island.

Staff scientists at Heal the Bay often get the question whether the recent uptick in anglers catching white sharks off the Manhattan Beach Pier, or seemingly more sightings along Santa Monica Bay beaches, means that white shark populations are rebounding. It seems like a simple question, but it’s often said that scientists know more about space than they do about the sea. Tracking fish is a complicated research proposition. It’s much easier to monitor animals on land with distinct geographic boundaries and habitats defined by buildings, roads and the like. It’s really tough to get a baseline assessment of just how many fish are out there, especially with transitory creatures like the white shark.

We know that there is a Northeastern Pacific population of white sharks that ranges from Mexico to the Bering Sea, and offshore to Hawaii, with aggregation sites off Central California, Guadalupe Island in Mexico, and a feeding grounds between California and Hawaii referred to as “the white shark café.” But, there is no historic population estimate for this region.

The first population assessments of white sharks in the Northeastern Pacific were only released in the past few years. These new studies show that the population is genetically distinct from other white shark populations around the world, and the numbers are astoundingly low. Photo identification and tagging studies from researchers at SCRIPPS, Stanford, and other institutions estimate that there are approximately 339 sub-adult and adult white sharks in the Northeastern Pacific. Compared to other apex predators in the ocean, these numbers are quite small. And, with no reliable metrics to compare changes in population over time, it’s tough to say whether white sharks in California are on the rise or decline.

So, should we be concerned? About a white shark attack in the water, probably not. (But it’s prudent to be careful in the ocean, as it’s a powerful and mysterious world). About their numbers in California waters, I think so.

As a surfer, I have had the feeling that something more powerful than me is lurking beneath the surface with its sights on me during a dawn or dusk surf session. White sharks are a top dog in the ocean, and deserve a healthy respect. Although they have to watch out, too – orcas (yes, the cute likes of Shamu) have snacked on white sharks at the Farallon Islands off the coast of San Francisco. But, the chances of a white shark attack on humans are extremely small, especially in the Santa Monica Bay, where most white sharks are pups and juveniles, which dine on fish, rays, and small sharks. There have been less than 15 documented fatal white shark attacks in California.

Although it is illegal to fish for white sharks in the U.S., they still face threats in their Northeastern Pacific range, including incidental catch from fishing vessels off the coast of California and Mexico, pollution, contamination, coastal development, and climate change. Recent research shows that white sharks are among the most heavily contaminated shark species. Mercury, PCBs, and DDT levels in juvenile white sharks were found to be six times higher than thresholds known to cause physiological and reproductive harm in other fish. As an apex predator, sharks play a key role in regulating prey populations and maintaining a balanced, healthy ocean ecosystem. It is important that shark populations remain viable for a healthy ocean environment.

In August, Oceana, Shark Stewards, and Conservation for Biological Diversity petitioned to list the white shark as threatened or endangered under the California and federal Endangered Species Acts. This designation would allow for the establishment of critical habitat for the Northeastern Pacific population of white sharks and the implementation of management measures to help protect white sharks from threats within their range. Sign our petition today to support the listing of the Northeastern Pacific population of white sharks as endangered or threatened under the California Endangered Species Act.

The shark research community has just started to scratch the surface of understanding their behavior and population trends. But, given that the white shark population is much smaller than other large marine predators, conservation actions are imperative to maintain a healthy ocean and continue to inspire generations with the natural wonder of sharks. They need to continue to be living and breathing kings of the sea, not just remembered in storybooks and scary movies.

–Sarah Sikich

Heal the Bay Coastal Resources Director

Take Action

Learn more about what you can do to protect the white shark population in California and sign the petition.

Stay tuned on how you can help by following us on Twitter.

Visit our Aquarium at 3:30 p.m. on Shark Sundays to discover more about the misunderstood animals.

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.

The most bizarre item found during 2012 Coastal Cleanup Day was a paddleboat in the woods. Yes! You read that right! It sounds like the lead in to a joke, but it’s the item Kentaro Lunn and Garrett Nas-tarin found during their mountain bike cleanup in Malibu Creek State Park. They not only found the boat, but hauled it over rough terrain to an access road where a state park crew could pick it up.

Other unusual finds this year included a hair weave, a rifle barrel found by divers in the water off Redondo Beach Pier (turned over to police), some toilets (including one still boxed), beach chairs, a “No Smoking” sign, and a 25 pound barrel of oil sludge.

Garrett and Kentaro received goody bags from Heal the Bay to thank them for their hard work!

See more photos from Coastal Cleanup Day 2012.

Coastal Cleanup Day 2012: Most Unusual Found Items

Coastal Cleanup Day 2012: They Found What?!

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.

This morning, after listening to the rain fall on my roof all night and waking up to soggy streets, I put on my raincoat and trekked out to see what the stormdrains were pumping out onto the beaches. What I found was quite shocking — this being my first time witnessing what Heal the Bay calls “First Flush,” or the first significant rainfall of the year.

I ventured out to the Pico/Kenter stormdrain and saw runoff flowing fast out onto the Santa Monica beach, carrying along with it strong smells reminiscent of motor oil and gasoline, hundreds of plastic cups, chip bags, soda cans, an unusually high number of tennis balls, plastic bags (some full of pet waste), bits of Styrofoam, bottle caps, and more urban detritus. It was a saddening and somber sight, to say the least.

No bucket or trash bag could clean up the mess that was before me. And the worse part about it was thinking of all the trash that I didn’t see, that ended up tossed around in the heavy surf and pulled out to sea, only to wash up on distant shores — if it wasn’t first mistaken for food by some unfortunate marine creature. And then there’s all that unseen bacteria and other pathogens spewing into the sea, ready to pounce on the surfers at Bay Street who are unable to stay out of the water when there’s decent swell.

These photos speak for themselves.

2012 First Flush

The First Flush often carries higher levels of trash/debris, pet waste, fertilizers, toxic chemicals, and automotive fluids through our neighborhoods and into our local creeks, rivers, and ocean environments. This runoff is a main source of pollution to our local waterways, because unlike sewage, this polluted water receives no treatment or screening and flows freely along our streets into the catch basins and out into the network of open channels, creeks, and rivers until it reaches the ocean. All this runoff flows through a 5,000 mile-long storm drain system that drains the Greater Los Angeles area.

So be prepared for possible localized flooding from plugged catch basins due to the large amounts of trash clogging the openings. If this happens, then please call it in to the local agency so that they can unplug the drain. Consult this listing of county hotlines.

In addition, avoid surfing or swimming this weekend. Even if the surf is up, the sun is out, and the rainstorm has passed, health officials generally recommend to stay out of the ocean water for more than 72 hours and avoid stormdrain impacted and enclosed beaches for 5 to 10 days after a storm. The reason to stay out of the ocean? This runoff can cause a variety of human pathogens, which can cause illnesses like respiratory infection or stomach flu. Near flowing storm drain outlets, bacteria indicator counts are approximately 10 times higher at ankle depth – where small children typically play – than at chest depth.

How will you know when it’s safe to return to the water? Always check our Beach Report Card for the water quality of your favorite or local beach prior to visiting it.

And yes, there are simple things you can do to help. Heal the Bay reminds L.A. residents that they can take steps in their own homes and neighborhoods to take pressure off an already taxed storm drain system: Join a local group clean-up, keep trash out of gutters and storm drains, and dispose of animal waste and automotive fluids properly. Find out more tips on how you can get involved.

Seeing all that manmade waste on the beach this morning saddened me, but there is hope in a new initiative afoot that could reduce the impact of stormwater and have a real positive impact on local water quality – Los Angeles County’s Clean Water, Clean Beaches Measure. 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. Read more about the measure.

-Ana Luisa Ahern, Campaigns Manager

On Friday, October 5, Heal the Bay supporters and staffers packed a Metropolitan Water District meeting room to lend our voices to the fight to keep strong stormwater protections in place throughout Southern California.

Thanks to those of you who came to the “Take L.A. By Storm” hearing, for taking time to share your testimony with the Regional Board. Your words were powerful and effective in letting officials know that the Los Angeles community supports swimming and fishing in safe waters.

In addition, the NRDC and LA Waterkeeper as well as experts Rich Horner, Jenny Jay, and Mark Gold, and a diverse cross-section of people (mothers, divers, NGOs, surfers, beachgoers and ocean lovers) presented robust testimony. All wore buttons declaring: “I support a strong permit.”

While we won’t know until November 8 how the board will rule on the push by many cities to weaken existing pollution limits, we felt we made progress on key elements of the permit, including Public Participation, Low Impact Development and Monitoring. However, due to the concerns raised by a coalition of cities that will be regulated under the permit, the Board is also contemplating a proposal to weaken the permit by allowing something other than strong numeric limits for receiving waters ‑‑ our waterways.

To those of you who couldn’t make the hearing, but who lent your support by either signing our petition or providing moral fortitude, we also thank YOU!

You would have been proud to hear the AP environmental science students from Apex Academy in Hollywood (pictured, below) share their love for clean water. “We have to protect what we have,” one 15-year-old testified. “We can’t live without water. We have to take care of it.”

Apex Students at MS4 Hearing

Sign up for our Action Alerts to stay up to date on the Take L.A. by Storm campaign as we continue to push for numeric, enforceable limits. Or follow us on Twitter for real-time updates with the hashtags #LAbyStorm and #CleanWater.

Help us sustain our fight for clean water. Donate now.

One of the many joys of working at Heal the Bay is making new friends and partners in our community.

Green Vets LAWe’d long known Green Vets Los Angeles (pictured right) for their durable reusable bags, so when it came time for us to replace our worn out beach cleanup bags (to carry our tents, flags and other items), we knew whom to call! Their team came through big time, sewing and customizing military-worthy carryables. We can’t wait to debut our new collection at our next Nothin’ But Sand on October 20. Plus, it feels good to know that we are supporting job training for veterans, both injured and non-injured as they readjust to life here at home.

We mostly know Natalie Maines of the Dixie Chicks because we love her music!  (“Lullaby” anyone?) However, we were recently lucky enough to receive a contribution from the singer to help us protect the ocean. Thank you, Natalie!

Big thanks to the Ford Motor Company for including Heal the Bay in their Community Changes program. 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.

UMeTime provided a respite to the freeways this past weekend when the local app developer donated proceeds from their Carmageddon pub crawl to further our work. Thank you!

To celebrate the Fall Equinox, Naam Yoga hosted a free beach yoga session on September 30 and included us in their community circle. Om-m-m. And to keep the yogi spirit going, don’t forget to order a tank or tee-shirt from Honu Yoga and they’ll donate 20% to Heal the Bay!

Check back next week to see whom we’ll thank!

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.