Skip The Stuff

LA is taking a good look at takeout waste. We support the LA City and County motions to draft legislation requiring foodware accessories (utensils, condiments, napkins, straws) be available “upon request” only for takeout and delivery orders, in an effort to reduce waste and save restaurants money.

Sign the Petition

Bring Back Ballona

Add your voice to the chorus of supporters behind the robust restoration of Ballona Wetlands Ecological Reserve. Let’s fully realize the potential for our local wetlands to be the most special wildlife area in Los Angeles.

Sign Ballona Support Letter

How will you take part?

Give Time

Wanna roll up your sleeves at a cleanup? Or would you rather take long walks on the beach and monitor Marine Protected Areas with binoculars? Or maybe you’d love to help educate the public at our Aquarium?

Select a tab below to get the low down on all our enticing Aquarium, Beach, Outreach, Community Science and Youth programs and opportunities.

Opportunity
  • Time Commitment:
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  • Heavy
  • Adopt-a-Beach

    About: Our Adopt-a-Beach program gives individuals and households the opportunity to learn and participate in the conservation of our natural and coastal resources.

    What:  Commit to showing some TLC to your favorite outdoor space and receive a virtual presentation from Heal the Bay’s Speakers Bureau before your first cleanup as well as educational resources.

    Where: Choose your neighborhood, beach, park, creek, or trail near you in Los Angeles County, California. Get started by completing our online application.

    Commitment: Complete three cleanups within a year and get an official Certificate of Completion.

    Get Started  

  • Volunteer Orientation

    What: Attend one of our Volunteer Orientations to learn more about Heal the Bay, our current issues, and how you can get involved with our exciting Aquarium, Beach, Outreach, Community Science, and Youth volunteer programs

    When: 6:30pm-8:30pm on February 8, May 10, August 9, and October 11, 2021

    RSVP  

  • Internships

    What: Heal the Bay interns are a special fleet of clean water advocates who are constantly learning new skills while supporting Heal the Bay’s events and campaigns

    Where: Heal the Bay HQ, Heal the Bay Aquarium, and all over LA County

    When: Year-round

    See What's Available  

  • Request a Speaker

    What: Invite an environmental science educator to deliver an interactive, fact-filled presentation virtually on the story of Southern California’s water system and the causes of–and solutions to–marine pollution

    When: Year-round

    Where: Anywhere in LA County

    *Due to COVID-19 related school orders, we are offering Ocean Pollution and Know the Flow presentations virtually. To sign up, write “Virtual Request” in one of the form fields. If you are a teacher or parent looking for  educational content for your kids, check out our Knowledge Drops webinars.

    Request a Speaker  

  • Club Heal the Bay

    What: Connect your school environmental club with Heal the Bay to earn service hours and special perks

    Where: Any LA-area middle or high school with an existing environmental club

    How: Register online

    Commitment: Participate in a minimum of three Heal the Bay volunteer events per school year

    Register  

  • School Field Trips

    What: Hands-on learning for K-5 classroom enrichment at Heal the Bay Aquarium under the Santa Monica Pier

    When:45 minute Virtual Field Trip Experience offered Tuesday through Friday from 12:30PM – 1:15PM

    Where: Heal the Bay Aquarium

    Learn More  

  • Request a Speaker

    What: Invite an environmental science educator to deliver an interactive, fact-filled presentation virtually on the story of Southern California’s water system and the causes of–and solutions to–marine pollution

    When: Year-round

    Where: Anywhere in LA County

    *Due to COVID-19 related school orders, we are offering Ocean Pollution and Know the Flow presentations virtually. To sign up, write “Virtual Request” in one of the form fields. If you are a teacher or parent looking for  educational content for your kids, check out our Knowledge Drops webinars.

    Request a Speaker  

  • Suits on the Sand

    What: An educational presentation followed by a beach cleanup to build your business team’s morale and enhance your company’s environmental commitment

    Where: Cleanups are held at a variety of beaches in LA County

     

    Sign Up  

  • Corporate and Foundation Giving

    What: Heal the Bay relies on the generosity and commitment of its corporate and foundation supporters every day. Grants, sponsorships and partnerships make it possible for us to pursue our important mission of making California coastal waters and watersheds safe, healthy, and clean.

    Where: Anywhere

    When: Year-round

    Learn More  


Give Money

Short on time but still want to make a difference? Consider making a financial gift to Heal the Bay. Support science-based advocacy, grassroots community outreach, and award-winning educational programs. Your contribution is a smart investment in a cleaner, bluer LA.


Give Voice

Our advocates always move the needle. Share a post, send a Tweet, Start a Club, and raise awareness for plastic reduction efforts that protect waterways and neighborhoods.

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Volunteer Resources

Marine Debris Data Tracking

Download the Marine Debris Tracker app on your mobile device or print out our Cleanup Data Card and take a pencil to track your finds. Another useful resource for on-the-go trash collection and tracking is the CleanSwell app. Curious about what kinds of trash we find at cleanups in Los Angeles County? Our team can give you an inside look at the epidemic of single-use plastic, cigarette butts, PPE items (face masks and gloves), and more. Our volunteers have tracked more than 4 million pieces of trash, so reach out for more info.

Beach & River Report Cards

Is your favorite swimming or fishing spot safe? Search for the latest water quality grades, alerts, and information at your favorite beach using the Beach Report Card — an app that provides A-to-F water quality grades for more than 650 beaches along the West Coast of the United States. Similarly, the River Report Card rates dozens of local freshwater recreation areas in Los Angeles County, California. Scientists at Heal the Bay also release a yearly report on local beach water quality trends.

Featured Volunteers

Croft Family

“Recently our family decided to start doing beach cleanups once a month. It’s been really rewarding to spend quality time together, all while giving back to a place we love so much. We also enjoy hearing from others on the beach that they appreciate our efforts while we clean up — and hope that it inspires them to do the same!” – The Croft Family volunteers through our Adopt-A-Beach program.

Myra Blas

“I volunteer with Heal the Bay because I really admire the work they do for and with the community. Educating people and getting them to participate in protecting the environment is really hard work! Being hands-on with animals has been such a special opportunity. Since day one as a volunteer, I was able to participate in everything that goes into taking care of all the animals in the Aquarium.” – Myra is a Heal the Bay Aquarium aquarist volunteer.

Elizabeth J. Cron

“Going through Heal the Bay Speaker’s Bureau Training was an amazing experience. I learned about things I was never taught growing up and I ‘graduated’ training feeling beyond inspired to share my knowledge with anyone ready to listen! I love speaking with brilliant kids in schools, meeting fellow volunteers and soaking up everything I can from the scientists and policy pushers that work in the organization.” – Elizabeth is involved in several Heal the Bay volunteer programs: Speakers Bureau and Beach Captains.

Esther An

“I volunteer with Heal the Bay because it is a group that genuinely cares about amplifying the voices of our community. The people at Heal the Bay do incredible work by bringing people together and taking collective action to solve issues that affect every single one of us. I have met some of the most passionate, kind-hearted people who envision a better world that we can all participate in, and they inspire me to raise my voice for the people around me. I am grateful for every chance to work with them.” – Esther is involved in several Heal the Bay volunteer programs: Aquarium, Speakers Bureau, Beach Captains, and Wednesday Warriors.

Paula Shuman

“I love meeting the public and helping them appreciate the wonders of our Bay! I also love the looks on the faces of visitors when you tell them how sea stars eat and that kelp is in our ice cream!” – Paula has volunteered at Heal the Bay Aquarium since 2009.

Brenton Spies

“When I walked through the doors of Heal the Bay Aquarium, I was full of passion for the ocean, though not sure where that could lead. The Aquarium inspired my desire to be involved in conservation and marine science and it was here that I finally became aware of the scientist and educator within. The Aquarium was the catalyst that motivated me to pursue degrees in marine science.” – Brenton was an Aquarium volunteer.

Terumi Toyoshima

“Heal the Bay gives me hope for a cleaner ocean, a cleaner planet, a better community, a better me. It has made me realize whatever I do–at the beach, at home, at work, on the street miles from the beach, or anywhere–affects the health of the ocean. Also, I like that even though we have huge events with hundreds of people, I’ve had the chance to meet wonderful people and make great friends.” – Terumi has been a Volunteer Beach Captain since 2004.

Zola Berger-Schmitz

“Heal the Bay inspired me to pursue my interest in environmental activism and then gave me the tools to mobilize my peers. Through Heal the Bay programs and training I developed important public speaking and leadership skills and was empowered to become an environmental youth advocate.” – Zola has been a Heal the Bay volunteer since she was 12.

Kelly Villasor

“Today we went to Eaton Canyon and picked up a bucket’s worth of trash. Of the many things, we had a few towels, gum wrappers, and of course, plastic water bottles. We also saw orange peels. Just because it’s biodegradable, doesn’t mean you can still carelessly throw it on the ground. It still takes about a whole 6 months for orange peels to decompose. During that time it can attract unwanted bugs and creatures you wouldn’t want to encounter on your hike.”- Kelly is involved in several Heal the Bay volunteer programs: Speakers Bureau, Street Fleet, and Beach Captains.