Waterkeeper to Offer a New Oil Spill Response Course for San Pedro/Wilmington Residents

POLA-LB Gwen Noda
The combined Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach form the largest port complex in the United States. Not surprisingly, an extraordinary amount of oil is transported, stored, and processed in and around the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. The environmental harm and risks associated with those oil-related activities fall disproportionately upon the communities of Wilmington and San Pedro. So, I am pleased to announce that LA Waterkeeper will now be expanding its efforts in that region.

Since 1993, LA Waterkeeper has worked with volunteers to conduct hands-on monitoring, data collection, and water sampling. Those activities regularly include marine habitat restoration and monitoring efforts. And, in recent years, LA Waterkeeper staff have been actively involved in representing environmental interests on issues before the Port of Los Angeles/Long Beach Harbor Safety Committee, the Los Angeles/Long Beach Area Committee, and the Office of Spill Prevention and Response (OSPR).

Now, with the generous support of the Harbor Community Benefit Foundation, LA Waterkeeper will be launching an exciting new program designed to empower community members of Wilmington and San Pedro to actively engage in oil spill response efforts and address chronic oil pollution in and around the Port of Los Angeles. LA Waterkeeper will hold a series of courses that include classroom and outdoor education components. Community members will learn about the impacts of oil spills and chronic pollution to the marine aquatic environment and the planned emergency responses to a large oil spill. LA Waterkeeper will also train volunteers to monitor port impacts of oil spills and chronic oil pollution, creating a community-based citizen scientist data set to serve as pre-spill evidence for needed mitigation and restoration projects. The skills and education acquired from the course will also prepare community members to serve their community by effectively assisting authorities during a large spill or disaster.

Please continue monitoring LA Waterkeeper’s website for updates regarding the new course. Any Wilmington or San Pedro residents interested in taking the course should contact LA Waterkeeper’s Law Fellow, Jeffrey Van Name, at jeffrey@waterkeeper.org.

For more information about the Harbor Community Benefit Foundation, please visit their website at www.hcbf.org.

-Jeffrey Van Name, Law Fellow

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