Palos Verdes is home to stunning cliffs, gorgeous beaches, and incredible habitat, and is a popular diving and fishing spot. Residents consider themselves lucky to be tucked away on the rocky point, far away from the hustle of the city. Unfortunately, below the water lurks one of the biggest pollution hot spots in the world—a dump of DDT and PCB dating from the 1930’s.
Water quality is excellent in Palos Verdes. Because of its relatively low-density development, stormwater infiltrates into the soil, and doesn’t carry high levels of bacteria onto the beaches here. Beaches are generally open to the ocean, and have good tidal flow, which helps flush out any bacteria that might otherwise accumulate.
Heal the Bay Gets Local
Heal the Bay has been very involved in the DDT hot spot off the coast of Palos Verdes. Because DDT and PCB can persist so long in the environment, those chemicals will continue to poison fish, and potentially people, unless we fix the problem. Heal the Bay has been involved in pilot projects to cap the hot spot with clean sediment, thus effectually covering it and keeping it out of the food chain. Our Angler Outreach Team also works throughout the LA area, teaching people about the contamination and how to avoid it. By establishing Marine Protected Areas off of Palos Verdes, we are also hoping to limit fishing and protect this important habitat (while the DDT hot spot sickens people and marine life over the long term, there is still ample valuable habitat in the area).