Time to Heal: Reflecting on 2020

A Note from our CEO

This has been a year of hardship and heartbreak. Many people are lamenting its losses and eager to get out of 2020 and into the new year. I have felt the deep pain of the pandemic, the wildfires, and the unpredictable politics of this unprecedented year. But I am seeing something else too: I see progress. I see change. I see a new future ahead of us.

During these stressful times Heal the Bay worked differently, and harder than ever, to fight for clean water in LA.

This year, people joyfully returned to the beaches and rivers they treasure. Heal the Bay was there. Our most recent River Report Card and Beach Report Card ensured the latest water quality grades were publicly available. But we still have so much more work to do to make our outdoor spaces safe and accessible for all. Heal the Bay is prioritizing water quality monitoring during a health crisis that has caused many public places and services to shut down.

This year, the momentum shifted on plastic trash. More and more people want to rid our environment of this toxic scourge. As a result, we secured more than 800,000 signatures to put a major plastics reduction initiative on the 2022 California Ballot. A robust statewide policy is the logical next step after a patchwork of bans on plastic bags, straws, and Styrofoam have already been implemented. Heal the Bay is pushing for the most comprehensive approach that replaces single-use disposable plastics with sustainable options.

This year, activists put the spotlight on environmental justice. Oil drilling in neighborhoods, polluted water, lack of open space, and many other systemic injustices are being called out for their racist underpinnings. A powerful movement is underway. Heal the Bay is investing more resources to ensure our organization’s impact is equitable for underserved communities.

This year, I saw your commitment. Heal the Bay’s Coastal Cleanup Month mobilized thousands of volunteers to pick up 40,000 pieces of trash from their favorite outdoor places. Our team conducted the first large-scale effort to track PPE litter in the environment. We connected and empowered 4,000 youth and two million individuals and families through science, education, community action, and advocacy. Heal the Bay is amplifying the anti-pollution message far and wide.

The pandemic can’t stop—and won’t stop—the power of water to inspire change!

Thank you for supporting Heal the Bay this year. Every note we get from you, every Zoom we do with you, every phone call we have with you, every gift we receive from you… your commitment motivates us time and time again.

Shelley Luce
Heal the Bay CEO and President