Our Impact

For 35 years, we’ve been a strong and trusted advocate for the ocean. But a healthy Bay requires a healthy LA. Envisioning thriving oceans, healthy watersheds, and smart water, we’re working toward increased equity, safety, and access for everyone.

Demand
Climate
Action

We can’t wait any longer to make a bold climate action commitment. Here’s how we are urgently reshaping LA’s future to mitigate impacts from climate change:  

Protect
Public
Health

Science-based solutions and outreach protect public health at LA beaches, piers, and freshwater areas. Here’s how we are making waves in neighborhoods across LA: 

  • Providing water quality information at 450 California beaches each week and making daily water quality predictions at dozens of sites  
  • Educating 10,000 pier and shoreline anglers annually about risks of eating contaminated fish through the Fish Contamination Education Collaborative 
  • Mobilizing local communities to become advocates for safe access to their waterways 
  • Notifying the public of water quality conditions in freshwater recreation areas in the LA River, Malibu Creek and San Gabriel River watersheds 
  • Watchdogging stormwater runoff, pushing for increased enforcement, and advocating for projects to improve water quality at beaches and rivers  
  • Inspiring 100,000 visitors annually at Heal the Bay Aquarium to take action in defense of human and marine health

Ban
Single-Use
Plastic

Our local waters should be teeming with diverse wildlife, not inundated with plastic waste and microplastics. Here’s how we are bringing the Bay back to life:

  • Campaigning for tough legislation that keeps harmful plastic out of the Pacific Ocean and the environment 
  • Hosting two cleanups a day on average, and engaging businesses, families, and individuals to make an impact 
  • Recording more than 4 million pieces of trash and debris removed from the natural environment by Heal the Bay volunteers to inform public policy, business, and organizational best practices 
  • Educating thousands of students in LA County (70% are from Title 1 schools) about their plastic footprint and how to minimize plastic use
  • Engaging local businesses, organizations, groups, and individuals and helping them opt for reusables with a strong coalition of partners 
  • Advocating for the end of fossil fuel extraction offshore and in our neighborhoods

Our Victories

Bagging the bag

Our staff catalyzed the grassroots campaign for Prop 67, which upheld the statewide ban on harmful single-use plastic bags.

Keeping Big Oil out of the Bay

We successfully campaigned against Measure O, squashing a dangerous plan to drill for oil under the Hermosa Beach seafloor.

Holding Hyperion accountable

We spurred change at L.A.’s largest sewage treatment plant after a sickening discharge of syringes, tampons, and condoms closed South Bay beaches for days.

Something fishy

Heal the Bay Aquarium welcomed its 1 millionth guest in 2016, inspiring a new wave of ocean guardians.

Getting trashed

We picked up our 2 millionth pound of debris from local beaches in 2016. The most common item? Cigarette butts.

Catching waves, not bugs

Collaborating with Stanford and UCLA, we launched a forecasting tool to predict when beaches should be closed because of bacterial pollution.

Replumbing greater LA

We helped secure passage of Measure W in November 2018, which will capture and reuse billions of gallons of stormwater each year instead of polluting the sea.

Straws on request

Our staff led a grassroots campaign for Straws-On-Request, an ordinance that went into effect in the City of Los Angeles on October 1, 2019.

Take Part

We all have a role to play in protecting Santa Monica Bay – whether it’s donating money, volunteering time, speaking up, or educating others.

How will you heal your Bay?

Take Part