Our Impact

For 36 years, we’ve been a strong and trusted advocate for the Santa Monica Bay. But a healthy Bay requires a healthy LA. Protecting the coastline, restoring our waterways, and speaking out for clean water policy, we’re working toward equity, safety, and access for all.

Demand
Climate
Action

We can’t wait any longer to take bold climate action locally and globally. Here’s how we are urgently demanding systemic change and advocating for multi-benefit solutions that build toward an equitable and resilient future:  

Protect
Public
Health

We protect people’s health through science-based education, outreach, and policies on contaminated water and fish at beach, pier, offshore, and freshwater areas in Greater Los Angeles. Here’s how we are making waves

  • 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 and visitors to become advocates for safe access to local waterways 
  • Monitoring water quality and notifying the public of good and poor conditions at popular 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, rivers, and wetlands
  • 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 ocean and watersheds should be teeming with diverse wildlife, not inundated with plastic waste and microplastics. Here’s how we are eliminating single-use plastic and defending the vibrancy of our community:

  • Campaigning for tough legislation that keeps harmful plastic pollution out of the Pacific Ocean
  • Hosting two or three cleanups a day in LA, on average, and engaging local and global businesses, families, groups, and individuals to make an impact 
  • Recording more than four million pieces of trash and debris removed from the natural environment by Heal the Bay volunteers to inform public policy, business practices, and organizational sustainability goals
  • Educating thousands of students in LA County (70% of students are from Title 1 schools) about how to minimize plastic use in the household
  • 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 communities, and pushing for a just transition to a healthier environment for all

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 sets funding aside to 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.

Bring back Ballona

Planning to restore Ballona Wetlands and open them to the public has been underway for 17 years. In a big step forward, the plan was certified in December 2020.

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