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.

The WEFTEC water quality conference, with its acres of pumps, filters, water treatment devices and other gizmos, moved out of the L.A. Convention Center last week. But I’m still thinking about what the 20,000-person gathering of H2O nerds means for…
WEFTEC exhibition hall
The California Coastal Commission invites California students in Kindergarten through Grade 12 to submit artwork or poetry with a California coastal or marine theme to the annual Coastal Art & Poetry Contest. Up to 10 winners will be selected to …
California Coastal Commission, Art & Poetry Contest
The Los Angeles City Council today took the bold step of supporting unanimously a substantial sewage service fee increase. The household fee will incrementally increase from an average of $29 a month to $53 a month over the next 10 years. The hike wi…
Stop the Presses! Government Works!
Unfortunately, discussions about the future of K-12 public education in California typically focus on the state’s massive budget problems.  Talks of educational reform seem to exclusively revolve around teacher accountability and charter schoo…
Spouting Off: Education and the Environment Initiative
Oct. 10, 2011--This month, Heal the Bay meets with leaders from critical state and federal agencies regarding a topic very important to protecting water quality: DIRT! More specifically sediment, the dirt that gets deposited little by little along th…
ocean floor sediment
As a Jewish parent and environmental scientist, I am consumed by guilt for taking the baby bottle shortcut when feeding our kids many years ago.  Yes, I put formula, and even – gasp --breast milk, in a plastic bottle and heated …
Spouting Off: Protecting Toddlers - baby bottle
Editor’s Note: This is the third installment of Santa Monica Pier Aquarium Director Vicki Wawerchak’s account of preparing harbor seal and sea lion skulls to become artifacts on display at the Aquarium. (Read Parts One and Two)
Articulated mammal skulls
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