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.

Beach water quality just took a major hit, with the Environmental Protection Agency announcing its plan to eliminate federal funds for testing water contamination. The plan would cut $10 million in grants the EPA gives each year to state and local a…
Swimming at the beach will be riskier than ever, if the EPA cuts water testing
A 12,000 gallon sewage spill on Saturday, Feb. 11 in Compton flowed into the Los Angeles River. City of Long Beach officials ordered all open coastal beaches closed.
Long Beach officials shut down open coastal beaches due to a 2/11 sewage spill
The "Ocean Lover's Choice," El Matador, won our Facebook poll, which asked supporters to share their favorite romantic beach along the West Coast. You can't get much more dramatic than this secluded rocky cove. Discover the other top 10 most romantic…
Encinal Canyon, El Matador, Malibu Best Romantic Beach
Help the California King Tides Initiative document the impact of rising waters along the California coast by photographing the highest seasonal tides (a.k.a. king tides) occurring February 6-8. Your photographs will help visualize the impact of sea l…
High tide at Pismo Beach
Thank  you to all those who entered Heal the Bay's Cirque du Soleil drawing to win a pair of tickets to OVO at the Santa Monica Pier.  The final pair of tickets will be given away for the following OVO performance:
Heal the Bay, Cirque du Soleil, OVO, Santa Monica Pier
Listen to Meredith McCarthy's interview on KFWB.
Volunteering at a beach clean up is one way to keep our oceans clean.
Work by biologists, physicists and experts in finfish culture and pathogen pollution received a $1.4 million boost from California Sea Grant research funds. Nine new science-based projects were awarded grants, including:
Sea Grant funds projects to rebuild Central Valley chinook salmon population
As top vacation destinations in the country, beaches are critical for recreation and the U.S. economy.  Specifically, California’s coastal tourism, which generates substantial revenues, is largely dependent on clean waters. Yet, every year, …
Tell EPA to Protect Your Family at the Beach
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