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.
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.