(Written by Meg Archambault, Quinn Delgado, Katrina Perry of Pepperdine University)
Itís another beautiful day by the beach. Thereís a knee-high swell and itís time to catch some waves. You suit up and carry your longboard down to the sand only to notice a bridal gown floating aimlessly yards away from the Santa Monica Pier. That is what Jessica Belsky, communications manager of Heal the Bay, saw one day at a beach cleanup. Is this any way to keep our once pristine beaches? SoCal, itís time to get out and clean up.
Heal the Bay is a nonprofit organization with headquarters in Santa Monica. This associationís main focus is the Santa Monica Bay and surrounding Southern California coastal waters. Their methods to repair these areas include fundraising and collaborating with locals to clean up areas affected by litter and sewage.
A large part of this organizationís plan includes the Malibu Lagoon Habitat Enhancement Plan. The lagoon, a popular tourist site, was once a dump site for fill material and is continuing to deteriorate due to urbanization of the area. The purpose of this project is to ďdesign a restoration plan for the Malibu Lagoon ecosystem that provides the greatest benefit for enhanced ecosystem structure and function while accommodating the various stakeholders in the region to preserve and enhance recreational use activities.Ē
The planís first phase, approved on June 19th, involves relocating the parking lot from its current location to the intersection of PCH and Cross Creek Road. Not only will this detract traffic near the lagoon, but the lot will also steer some water runoff from entering the region through a system of filters.
Other avenues of assisting the area and further Southern California beach properties depend on volunteers for support. Those interested in cleaning up Los Angeles Countyís dirtiest beaches can join at any time. The next opportunity to help is October 20th, 2007 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. at the Santa Monica beach off Pacific Avenue.
For people inspired to get involved, Heal the Bay can be reached online at healthebay.org or by calling (310) 451-1500.