About Us

"When we heal the earth, we heal ourselves"

Who has heard the soothing sound of crashing surf, smelled the crisp salty sea air, basked in the warmth of the sun overhead and sand under foot, relished the joy of catching the perfect wave, felt an angler's excitement from the tug of the fishing line, returned from an invigorating shore swim, delighted in the sighting of a passing pod of dolphins, or watched in quiet awe the beauty of an ocean sunset, and not been inspired to hold and keep these experiences dear?

Our rivers, our beaches and our ocean are incredible natural resources that serve as special spiritual sanctuaries.  But our coast provides not only intangible, emotional value, a healthy marine ecosystem also serves as a critical source of real economic wealth in southern California, from the bounty of seafood, recreation and tourism it provides.  When we protect the watersheds in which we all live, from the most inland neighborhood streets to the furthest edge of the sea, we protect our own well being.

Since 1985, people like you who care about our rivers, beaches and oceans have been a part of Heal the Bay's fight to make Southern California coastal waters and watersheds, including Santa Monica Bay, safe, healthy and clean.

As far back as our first fight to end the dumping of untreated wastewater from the Hyperion Sewage Treatment Plant, we've worked from a base of science to educate you, the media and government agencies about the causes and effects of pollution on our Bay.

Today, the greatest threats to our coastal waters and watersheds, and to all of us - both human and animal - that rely on the ocean for pleasure, income or sustenance, come from urban and stormwater runoff, plastic pollution, and the ever-increasing stresses to our marine environment from over-fishing and climate change. 

To meet these challenges, Heal the Bay continues to partner with you and thousands of your neighbors in southern California through community action programs such as Nothin' But Sand and Coastal Cleanup Day and through advocacy efforts to move municipal, state and Federal government and regulatory agencies to act in our collective interests.  We couldn't meet our challenges without the help of local businesses, community leaders, grassroots activists, and our dedicated volunteers and supporters across Los Angeles County and beyond.

Working together, we can protect and save one of our most precious, natural resources – with your help, we can heal the bay.

"Life's most persistent and urgent question is: 'What are you doing for others?'" –Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Each year on the federal holiday marking Dr. King’s birthday, Americans celebrate his legacy by working together to serve our neighbors…
MLK Day of Service community cleanup beach zero waste aquarium parks
Through a powerful collaboration between Holocaust survivors and teen filmmakers, Heal the Bay received a video gift that will definitely keep on giving. Students produced It’s Not Just One, a public service announcement that vividly depicts the im…
Idele and Michael, photo credit: Michelle Paster
Support for our work at Heal the Bay comes from such varied sources, that sometimes we feel more like curators than water quality advocates, scientists and educators.
Heal the Bay Thank You Thursday Heart Beach
You may have difficulty fulfilling your New Year’s resolution this week if it involves morning outdoor exercise, and your preferred location is the beach, especially if your go-to spot is typically narrow like Dan Blocker or Carbon Beach. Why, you …
California King Tides Carbon Beach 2013
Southern California is packed with weeds, a.k.a. exotic invasive plants, which are one of the principal causes of habitat destruction. Constant maintenance and eradication is an absolute necessity if we want to hang on to our region’s natural place…
Everything You’ve Always Wanted to Know About Weeds
Veteran TV broadcaster Huell Howser passed away Sunday night. Here Communications Director Matthew King remembers his work with Heal the Bay. If anyone could make plastic bags come alive, it’d be Huell Howser.   
Huell Howser California's Gold plastic bag beach media relations TV KCET
On a recent Thursday, our four-person crew met to lead a water chemistry field trip—aka “Creek 101”— at Compton Creek. However, just as students arrived a dramatic downpour cancelled the field trip and left us to explore and contemplate other…
white-tailed kite compton creek habitat watershed Heal the Bay education
Green Santa and his eco-elves made a stop in historic Los Angeles distributing more than 1,000 reusable bags at Olvera Street and $1000 in Vons/Pavilions gift cards to families, tourists and holiday shoppers as part of Heal the Bay’s 6th annual A D…
Green Santa eco elves Day Without a Bag #RockinReusable Instagram Amoeba Music
At Heal the Bay, we are so grateful to the ocean that every December, we promote sacking plastic bags and going reusable for the holidays...and all year round. Plastic bags clog our waterways, poisoning marine animals and posing health risks for huma…
Thank You Thursday 2012 Day Without A Bag Olvera Heal the Bay
It’s been a long road – more than 12 years – but, California’s statewide network of coastal marine protected areas (MPAs) is now complete. As of Dec. 19, 2012, the final piece of the coastal MPA network (along the North Coast) is effective. O…
California marine protected area ocean MLPA coast network Department of Fish and
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