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.

A five-year grant is headed to scientists researching harmful algal bloom “hot spots”—aka “Red Tide”— in southern and central California. In addition to investigating methods that could provide early warning detection of toxic b…
Red Tide in Santa Monica Bay
Make a difference for our coast and ocean!
Otters at Elkhorn Slough,  © CindyTucey
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Get the Beach Report Card app
Swimmers should stay at least 100 yards away from flowing storm drains
The San Francisco Chronicle is now devoting a corner of its Sunday "Bay Area Almanac" pages to Heal the Bay’s beach water quality grades. Readers from Sonoma to Santa Cruz can now check if their local waters are safe for swimming or surfing. …
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Thank you Simon Cowell.  An irate Heal the Bay member wrote a scathing e-mail encouraging us to take a stand against your ocean pollution commercial. It’s bad enough that my 12-year-old daughter Natalie is obsessed with his “American Idol”…
Spouting Off on Simon Cowell
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