Long Beach / Avalon

Overview

Although close geographically, Long Beach and Avalon couldn’t be more different. Long Beach is home to massive container ships and the shipping center of the Southland. Avalon, the quaint town on Catalina Island, is home to beautiful beaches and incredible diving and snorkeling.

Water Quality

Long Beach has some beautiful, clean open ocean beaches. But, as you get closer to the mouth of the LA River, which receives pollution from all over the county, and the Port of LA, water quality becomes a real problem. Because of the combination of clean and polluted beaches, Long Beach is a great example of why it's important to familiarize yourself with water quality patterns at your favorite beaches by using the Beach Report Card.  In Avalon, on the other hand, while the waters are clear and full of marine life, local beaches consistently have unacceptably high levels of bacteria. These bacteria, which are from unknown causes, can make swimmers sick.

Heal the Bay Gets Local

Heal the Bay is involved in solving some of Long Beach's most troubling pollution problems. We are working on cleaning up the Los Angeles river (through pollution limits and plastic bag legislation) and tackling some of the contaminated sediments that come from heavy industry. We also work closely with the wonderful Cabrillo Marine Aquarium, in nearby San Pedro. On Catalina Island, we are working with local representatives to identify and remediate those high bacteria levels. We’re also working to develop Marine Protected Areas, which would limit fishing in these precious waters.

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…
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Today we celebrate how hard work does pay off. Nineteen marine protected areas (MPAs) will become effective December 19, completing the statewide network of MPAs in California’s coastal regions. Last year we rejoiced as the MPAs along the south coa…
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It’s that time of year…. Gifts to buy, presents to wrap, crowds, parties, lines, stress, debt, more shopping, more wrapping, cooking, planning … and oh yes, giving back. It’s that time of the season when you tell yourself: This year’s going…
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Sustain the “doing good” momentum generated by the Giving Tuesday initiative and make a difference in your community. Not all giving needs to be material (although we appreciate the donations). Here are three ways this week that you can give back…
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Last month’s debate and hearing over the new stormwater permit for Los Angeles became contentious for Heal the Bay.  We weren’t happy with the final vote at the regional Water Board, but fortunately there’s a new initiative afoot that coul…
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The EPA released its final National Recreational Beach Water Quality Criteria this week. After many years of fighting for strong protections, we are greeting the new standards with mixed emotions. The criteria, which hadn’t been updated since 1986…
New EPA Regulations on Water Quality - Travel Manitoba/Flickr
Earlier this month, I had the privilege to speak at a TEDx Santa Monica focused on the City 2.0, and in Santa Monica that focus was on sustainability.  There were City 2.0 events occurring all over the world on the same day.  It was su…
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