When the Rain Comes, the Ocean Needs Our Help
Our winters bring increased rainfall in the Los Angeles region. During this season, when many don’t usually flock to the beach like during warmer months, our Storm Response Team is our ocean’s first responder after major rain events.
Winter Storms in LA
The biggest storm of the 2021-2022 winter season, as of yet, arrived in Southern California on Tuesday, December 14, 2021. “As far as intensity, it’s one of our stronger storms,” Kristan Lund, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service, said in the LA Times. “It’s definitely the strongest we’ve seen so far, and potentially one of the stronger ones we’ll see this season.”
While we desperately need the rain to quench our ecosystems, unfortunately it comes with a wave of trash.
Stormwater is the major source of pollution for rivers, lakes, and ocean in Los Angeles County, California. The first flush from a major rain event brings a flood of water, toxins, debris, and trash from our streets straight onto our beaches through the storm drain system. The untreated runoff eventually dumps pollution onto local shorelines. This waste poses a significant risk for wildlife and marine life who can ingest trash or get entangled, and also for the health of our communities who can get sick from bacteria-polluted water.
Our local waters need your help combating marine debris after every big storm in LA during the winter.
Take Part in a Self-Guided Cleanup
Gather friends and family or go solo to take part in a storm response cleanup by spending 30 minutes to an hour cleaning up around your neighborhood or local outdoor space. Remember, trash removed from a street or park means that less waste will make its way through the storm drain system, onto our beaches, and then out to sea.
In addition to doing a cleanup near you, take a look at the map above and target these beach sites today or this week. Highlighted areas are near storm drain outfalls and usually have the most trash after it rains—so this is where you can make the biggest impact.
Join the Storm Response Team
The rain is coming, are you ready to answer the call?
This won’t be LA’s last storm. Heal the Bay needs more volunteers to join our Storm Response Team for the rainy season to help remove trash, track data, and document photos. If you’re interested in joining our dedicated Storm Response Team to be the ocean’s first responder after #LARain, sign up to receive alerts about volunteer opportunities!
Already a Storm Response Team Member?
Keep an eye on your email inbox. About 24-hours after each rainfall has ended the Storm Response Team leader will email an alert with the location of the next cleanup. When the storm rolls in, collect your gear and get ready to answer the call! If you need a refresher on how to prepare, what to bring, and how to safely take part, review the most critical storm response information.
Thanks for Being the Ocean’s First Responder
Whether you joined the Storm Response Team, are in the process of learning more about the issue, or are leading a cleanup of your own soon, THANK YOU!
Share your efforts on social media and encourage friends, family, and your network to get involved by tagging your finds with @healthebay and #healthebay.
If you have questions about our Storm Response Team, please reach out to Emely Garcia.
Special thanks to our sponsor!