Climate change impacts the entire planet, from the oceans to inland areas.
Heal the Bay supports climate change adaptation
strategies that protect key habitats and facilitate the environment’s natural
ability to adapt and change.
Many of Heal the Bay's initiatives are connected to climate change, which help expedite sound solutions to protect important habitats and key community services.
Climate Change is Here
Climate change, or global warming, could negatively impact every corner of our planet. Warmer temperatures are altering precipitation and wind patterns, causing more extreme weather such as hurricanes, flooding, heat waves and drought. And the impact on our oceans is clear.
Sea levels continue to rise as ice caps melt at an alarming rate, increasing the risk of coastal flooding and erosion.
Rising water temperatures can destroy habitats, and leads to coral bleaching which in turn can lead to coral reef ecosystem collapse.
Changes in ocean salinity due to the melting ice can kill animals who cannot adapt to less salty water.
Nutrient-rich, deep, cool waters that many coasts depend on may no longer upwell above the warm surface waters, robbing many creatures of the nutrients they depend on for survival.
In areas where the ocean has become more acidic, the acid is dissolving or thinning the chalk-based shells and skeletons of animals that already have them.
What's happening in the Santa Monica Bay?
Locally, kelp forests are very sensitive to small increases in ocean temperatures and cannot survive without the upwelling of nutrient-rich cold waters off our coasts. Should the increased temperatures become a permanent trend, scientists worry that kelp forests will not be able to adapt. The kelp forest is an important habitat in the general health of the California coastal environment. Kelp beds off the Malibu and Palos Verdes coastline have continued to decline over the past few decades, but the role of climate change in the decline is unknown.
What's Heal the Bay doing?
While Heal the Bay is not directly involved in the fight against climate change, our advocacy efforts are connected.
Heal the Bay is fighting for Marine Protected Areas, which create healthy ecosystems. Healthy ecosystems withstand the pressures of climate change much more effectively, and act as a buffer against these impacts.
As our water supplies decrease, we will need to pursue alternative sources of fresh water. Heal the Bay strongly advocates for the reuse and recycling of high-quality treated wastewater for irrigation and industry.
We also advocate for groundwater recharge of storm water runoff.
By moving away from single-use products like plastic bags and polystyrene cups, the energy put into producing and transporting these wasteful products can be saved.
Climate change is real, and it’s here. Now it’s up to each of us to try and turn the tide.