Save the Blue

A Constitutional Victory and a Major Step Towards Water Independence

8/12/20 by Bruce Reznik

The days are numbered for the environmentally disastrous and economically costly practice of ‘pump-and-dump’, which has defined California’s water planning for more than a century. LA Waterkeeper (LAW) just won a historic court victory against the State’s Water Resource Control Board as part of our efforts to ensure the sustainability of California’s water resources.

Read more…

Braving the Rains for Clean Water

4/16/19 by Maricarmen Hernandez

Spring is here! This past winter was one of the wettest Southern California has seen. Thanks to the heavy amount of rainfall we received, here at LAW we stayed active. We work with volunteers in our Community Water Watch (CWW) program to collect stormwater runoff from industrial facilities, to investigate how well they are managing the various metals and chemicals on their sites.

Read more…

After Two Decades, Let’s Ensure the Updated LA River Master Plan Enhances Watershed and Community Health

4/11/18 by Melissa von Mayrhauser

LA Waterkeeper will join as a member of the Los Angeles County River Master Plan Update Steering Committee, which will hold its first meeting today: Wednesday, April 11. We will advocate for a revised master plan that will restore the Los Angeles River in a forward-thinking way that connects watershed and community health.

Read more…

Safer, Greener LA Streets: A Case Study Along Ballona Creek

4/9/18 by Hannah Sands

On a bright, sunny February day in the neighborhood of Del Rey, community members, politicians, environmental activists, and students all came together to celebrate a joyous event. It was the ribbon cutting of Milton Green Street, a project upstream from the Ballona Wetlands, parallel to Milton Street Linear Park, and across the street from Marina Del Rey Middle School.

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Pacific Star Sportfishing Faces Five Year License Suspension for Poaching in Marine Protected Area

3/8/18 by Michael Quill

LAW’s Marine Protected Area (MPA) Boat Based Survey team has been monitoring human activity in and around the waters of our mainland LA County MPAs since January 2012. Fishing in these protected areas is prohibited or restricted. While some illegal fishing is accidental, there are folks out there who knowingly break the laws. Those folks would be labeled as poachers.

Read more…

What’s Best for Ballona?

3/1/18 by Michelle Lin

My name is Michelle Lin. I’ve always been an environmentalist at heart, and I believe working at LAW has been a milestone in my journey. Since I started working here, I was fortunate enough to be a part of some really cool projects, including commenting on the Ballona Wetlands Draft Environmental Impact Report/Statement.

Read more…

Stormwater Capture in Action

2/7/18 by Hannah Sands

In my previous post, I explained that stormwater runoff is the number one source of ocean pollution. This time, I will introduce how stormwater capture projects can not only address this major pollution issue, but also bolster LA’s local water supply.

Read more…

My Journey Into Stormwater Capture

12/6/17 by Hannah Sands

I recently began my positon as a Climate Corps AmeriCorps Fellow with Los Angeles Waterkeeper… It’s only fitting that I would be thrown into a new position where I had to learn everything there is to know about stormwater capture.

Read more…

LA Times Agrees: Let’s Preserve CA

8/23/17 by Bruce Reznik & Sharon Licht


We would like to thank the LA Times Editorial Board for its August 23 Opinion piece, “Don’t let Trump roll back California’s environmental gains”. LA Waterkeeper is a strong supporter of the Senate Bill 49, authored by local legislators Senate President Pro Tem Kevin De León (D-Los Angeles) and Senator Henry Stern (D-Canoga Park).

Read more…

The Fix Is In? CA Water Fix Vote Coming Fast at MWD

7/17/17 by Bruce Reznik


Debate around Governor Brown’s proposed California Water Fix, also known as the twin tunnels, is starting to heat up in Southern California with a key vote on the project scheduled in Los Angeles on September 12. Reviving the failed peripheral canal that was rejected by California voters in 1982…

Read more…

 Lessons from Waterkeepers Around the Globe

7/13/17 by Melissa von Mayrhauser

Group shot at the 2017 Waterkeeper Alliance Conference. Photo by Hurricane Creekkeeper John Wathen.

How do we do the best job possible to protect Los Angeles County’s watersheds? We learn from fearless watershed protectors from around the globe of course – and at an elevation of 7,000 feet!

I recently had the chance to attend the Waterkeeper Alliance Conference in Park City, Utah…

Read More…

Deceiving the Naked Eye: Marine Invasive Species *Guest Blog!*

7/10/17  by Adam Obaza, Paua Marine Research Group


Invasive species can have nasty effects on local ecosystems. Disturbingly, increased commerce and travel have led to an exponential increase in species introductions. Instead of spending precious blog-space on rehashing that information, I will point you towards a few pieces of literature and be on my way…

Read more…

Students See Firsthand the Need for Ecological Restoration of our LA River

3/24/17 by Melissa von Mayrhauser

Aspire students measure dissolved oxygen levels and temperature at the LA River.

What would we like to see for the future of the LA River? Just ask some Aspire High School students from Huntington Park who recently visited the river in Maywood in order to collect water quality samples and gain a deeper understanding of the health of their local waterway.

Read more…

Seizing the Moment with the SuperSucker

3/21/17 by Ian Jacobson

Winter diving can be tough—and this year was no exception, with all of the storms that drenched LA. Luckily, they brought much-needed rain, but along with that, high winds and large surf! Forecasts gave us a glimmer of hope to sneak out onto the water and begin what we have been planning since last year: putting the SuperSucker in action!

Read more…

It’s Raining, It’s Pouring! Can We Go Back To Wasting Water?

2/8/17 by Bruce Reznik

Flooding in Long Beach, January 22, 2017.

With the recent torrential downpour (by LA standards) engulfing the southland, one of the most common questions we’ve heard at LA Waterkeeper has been “is the drought over?”. Implicit—and sometimes explicit—in this question is whether we can go back to our old water-wasting habits.

Read more…

Cross-County Community Science: LAW Trains MPA Collaborative Partner at Crystal Cove

2/7/2017 by Michael Quill

CCA Training day Jan 2017

In January, LAW partnered up with our sister organization, Orange County Coastkeeper (OCCK), to share our Marine Protected Areas Boat-Based Survey protocol with additional community science groups. OCCK is partnering with the Crystal Cove Alliance to conduct boat-based monitoring of the Crystal Cove State Marine Conservation Area.

Read more…

Saving SoCal’s Last Remaining Wetlands

12/7/2016 by Sharon Licht & Melissa von Mayrhauser

LAW is thrilled to announce the launch of a collaborative website that showcases our work with the Wetlands Restoration Principles Coalition. The newly minted site publicizes our campaign to implement a set of scientific principles to guide restoration efforts. SoCal has lost 95% of its historical coastal wetlands, often as a result of infill and development.

Read more…

Water Stewardship During Storm Season

11/16/2016 by Melissa von Mayrhauser

Attention all pluviophiles: LA is officially in its rainy season. Stormwater in LA carries particular significance — not only because it provides relief to our water tables during our current drought, or because it’s a source of delight to see our fellow Angelenos in awe when it finally appears. We jump into action when rain is approaching because stormwater is the main source of pollution to our waterways.

Read more…

LAW vs. The Water Boards: How To Weaken Water Standards

11/10/2016 by Arthur Pugsley

The Water Boards’ resolutions we are challenging replace the existing Water Quality Standards for copper and lead in the LA River and its tributaries with “Site Specific Water Quality Objectives” or SSOs.  The Clean Water Act establishes  standards that are national in character, aimed at protecting the designated uses of a “generic” waterbody. But the effects of pollution on a concrete (no pun intended) waterbody…

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Back In The Water: LAW Divers Hunt Alien Seaweed

11/7/2016 by Ian Jacobson

What we’re seeing, and how we plan to remove it!

LA Waterkeeper’s Dive Program has had a busy year. We’ve undergone a total transformation—shifting our focus from kelp forest restoration to addressing the invasion of the alien seaweed Sargassum horneri. After years of collaborative restoration efforts, how could we stand by as the “devil weed” S. horneri threatened the integrity of our kelp forests? Read more…

On The Water & In The Community

10/19/2016 by Michael Quill & Sharon Licht

Wishtoyo Foundation Founder Mati Waiya leading the opening ceremony around the Tomol, a Chumash dugout canoe, on Sept. 24th.Updates from our Marine Protected Areas (MPA) Watch Team!

LA Waterkeeper’s MPA Watch Program is honored to be collaborating with the Sacred Places Institute for Indigenous Peoples and Sherman Indian High School to help safeguard the region’s Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) while providing opportunities for youth with limited access to our coast to explore our marine environment. Read more…

LAW vs. The Water Boards: Latest Battle in a Long War

8/16/2016 by Arthur Pugsley

Last time, we explained why Waterkeeper filed suit against the “Site Specific Objectives” for copper and lead in the Los Angeles River.

This week, we examine some of the history behind the lawsuit, and why Waterkeeper’s challenge is the latest battle in a long struggle to clean up our most polluted local waterways. Read More…

LAW vs. The Water Boards: Why We Sued

7/26/2016 by Arthur Pugsley

Filing SSOLAW filed suit in Los Angeles on July 18 seeking to overturn approvals by the State Water Resources Control Board  and the Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control to relax water quality standards in the Los Angeles River and its tributaries.

The decision weakens the baseline water quality standards for copper in some areas by as much as 969%, and on average by about 400%.  It also greatly relaxes regulations controlling the amount of lead in the river and its tributaries. Read More…

SUP Community Comes Together at Stand Up for Clean Water

Attendees Paddle and Party On Despite Heavy Winds

5/11/2016 by Sharon Licht

TBoyd_160416_16986-EditOver 500 racers, beachgoers and supporters joined Los Angeles Waterkeeper on April 16 at Paradise Cove in Malibu for our 5th annual Stand Up for Clean Water paddleboard race, a Waterkeeper Alliance SPLASH Event presented nationally by Toyota and locally by Whole Foods Market of Venice.

What started and ended as a beautiful day at Paradise Cove, however, got dicey in the middle as unusually high Santa Ana winds kicked up during the day’s first race. “Many competitors were compelled to drop to their knees and even lie down and prone paddle,” reported Matt Chebatoris. Read More…

Wanted! The Whereabouts of Sargassum horneri

1/27/2016 by Ian Jacobson

Tom Boyd-S.horneriIn 2003, an unexpected stowaway on a container ship found its way into the Port of Long Beach and was introduced into our nearshore ocean. If you have been strolling on the beach or have been diving along the rocky reefs in Southern California, you may have seen it. It is a brown algae called Sargassum horneri  Read More…

Living in the Spill Zone

9/2/2015 by Sarah Workman


Wednesday, August 19th began a two-day Symposium for Port Community residents in Wilmington to learn about oil activity in the Port of Los Angeles as well as prevention and preparedness efforts. The class was offered in Spanish via interpreters and featured National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA), California Division of Gas and Geothermal Resources, and the Los Angeles County Health and Hazardous Materials Division. Read More…

Hold the Concrete! And the Fake Turf!

7/8/2015 by Jeffrey Van Name


As some of you may have read in the Los Angeles Times’ ongoing coverage of the drought, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) recently sent out letter to the top 1% of residential water users. Read More…

Waterkeeper Educates Communities on Oil Spill Impacts & Response

6/4/2015 by Tatiana Gaur


The May 19 spill of more than 100,000 gallons of crude oil at Refugio Beach near Santa Barbara is a sad but important reminder that we live in an area with extensive oil industry and incidents like this one can happen without a warning. Read More…

Wanted: A Few Good Cities (and Citizens!) Willing to Convert from Water Guzzlers to Water Realists

4/16/2015 by Tatiana Gaur

d4d collage

Even the Golden State, with all its affluence and hordes of smart, successful people, cannot outsmart nature and simple math: you cannot use more water than you have, especially in a time of serious drought. Read More…

Aquaculture Moving In Off California Coast

3/30/2015 by Jeffrey Van Name

fish farm photo

Waterkeeper’s Senior Attorney, Tatiana Gaur, and I recently had the opportunity to attend the California Aquaculture Law Symposium at UCLA School of Law. The symposium consisted of representatives from state regulatory agencies, industry, and non-governmental organizations. Read More…

Greening Our Streets Helps Keep Our Water Clean

3/12/2015 by Liz Crosson

Screen Shot 2015-03-13 at 3.58.16 PM

Last week, the Los Angeles City Council voted to develop an ordinance to integrate urban runoff control into all construction and reconstruction of public streets and alleys throughout the city. This means that instead of street repair solely focusing on new impervious surfaces that increase runoff of pollutants to our rivers and ocean, the city will include methods for capturing and infiltrating runoff before it pollutes downstream.Read More...

Marine Protected Areas Watch Update

3/6/2015 by Michael Quill


The Point Dume MPA- State Marine Reserve is closed to any kind of fishing or take of any kind– violations can be reported to the Department of Fish and Wildlife (DFW) anonymously at 1-888-334-2258. Read More…

Our Precious Water…

2/25/2015 by Tatiana Gaur

Feb. 9 2015 699We all know, or should know, that California is in a serious drought. But do you really think on a daily basis about conserving the water that so easily flows from our faucets every time we need it? After all, it is hard to reconcile the idea of water scarcity, and modify our habits, while enjoying uninterrupted and convenient access to water. Read More…

Wednesdays with Jefferson High

2/23/2015 by Lara Meeker

FullSizeRender (3)I look forward to Wednesdays, and not because it’s hump day, but because every Wednesday I meet with a group of bright and curious college and high school students at Thomas Jefferson High School.
In the fall of last year Los Angeles Waterkeeper and UCLA Institute for the Environment and Sustainability were together awarded an U.S. EPA Urban Waters Small Grant to conduct neighborhood-scale assessments of industrial sources of pollution to Los Angeles surface waters (i.e. river, stream, bays). Read More…

Restoring Underwater Arch Cove

2/11/2015 by Ian Jacobson

TBoyd_150131_13632If you have found yourself walking along Palos Verdes bluffs in the past year, chances are that you have seen the Waterkeeper boat either anchored in a cove or slowly moving along the coastline. In 2014, over 100 trips were completed with teams of dedicated volunteers that have worked on the Kelp Project and MPA Watch. Read More…

Port of LA Oil Spill Response Classes

2/5/2015 by Jeffrey Van Name

Beach Closed

I am excited to announce the launch of our newest project: the Port Communities Oil Spill Preparedness Project. The last couple months have been busy to say the least. But the work will be well worth it.  Read More…

 Docents & the MPA Collaborative

1/14/2015 by Michael Quill

SM Bay Front with regsLAWaterkeeper is a founding member of the CA Statewide Marine Protected Area Collaborative Implementation Project and is dedicated to continuing the Collaborative’s efforts to provide local communities with the information, structure,  and support to facilitate the creation of working MPA collaborative groups. Read More…

It’s Raining, It’s Pouring…

12/9/2014 by Lara Meeker

DSC05115And while most of you are snoring, LA Waterkeeper will be out monitoring water quality. Every time it rains Los Angeles Waterkeeper’s volunteer Storm Water Assessment Team deploys throughout the region to monitoring stormwater pollution. Last week’s storm was no exception. A set of newly trained volunteers spent Wednesday morning monitoring runoff and collecting water samples from scrap metal yards, waste stations, and construction sites. Read More…

Waterkeeper’s Tireless Enforcement of the Clean Water Act

11/25/2014 by Tatiana Gaur

DSC_0937In October, Waterkeeper successfully settled a series of 7 lawsuits against Republic Services, the second largest waste collection and management company in the US. Stormwater samples collected by Republic Services and Los Angeles Waterkeeper’s team during the last 5 years demonstrated that 7 of the company’s sites in Los Angeles County are discharging heavy metals, including lead, zinc and copper, fecal bacteria and oil and grease many times above legal limits. Read More…

El Nino

11/18/2014 by Ian Jacobson

latest_sstPredicting the next El Niño is tricky business. Recently, the likelihood of an El Nino event occurring this winter has been reduced down to 58%. Forecasts still expect a mild event to occur, but what does that mean for Southern California and our local Kelp Forests? Read More…

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

10/29/2014 by Jeffrey Van Name

POLA-LB Gwen NodaThe 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. Read More…

Celebrating 15 Years of Swimmable, Fishable, Drinkable Waters in California

10/8/2014 by Lara Meeker

garry wokner

Every few years a magical thing happens in the Waterkeeper world. California Waterkeeper organizations gather to share ideas, knowledge, challenges, and goals. This year was especially a treat since Keepers and staff all the way from the northern Klamath and Russian Rivers to the San Diego Bay came together to celebrate 15 years of the mighty California Coastkeeper Alliance. Read More…

Drought Response: It’s Time for a New Approach to Water Conservation in LA

9/29/2014 by Liz Crosson

20140923_101922LA Waterkeeper partnered with Save the Colorado this year to ask newly appointed General Manager of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, Marcie Edwards, to take action in response to the drought. Over 6,000 people signed our petition, which we hand delivered to Ms. Edwards this week. Read More…

MPA Watch Delivers on the Water Outreach & Education

9/22/2014 by Michael Quill


We have been busy during our recent Marine Protected Area (MPA) Watch Boat Trips encountering numerous fishers fishing in MPAs during our trips in August and early September. Our outreach and education efforts allowed us to put MPA maps and MPA guide books into the hands of fishers on the water. Read More…

 Time to Clean Up Our Playground!

9/18/2014 by Tatiana Gaur


One of my favorite things in Los Angeles is the beach. I am willing to forgive and forget any and all horrifying traffic experiences on our congested freeways the moment I get to the sand, see the shimmering blue vastness of the ocean and see the breeze. Read More…

 Choking the Ocean with Plastics

8/27/2014 by Jeffrey Van Name

IMG_7081I was fortunate enough to get some surfing in during this last weekend’s rare summer swell. It is comforting to know that the long summer lulls are almost behind us and the more regular fall swells will be rolling in soon. But, it was disconcerting to see the usual abundance of plastic waste along the beach as I made my way into the water. Read More…

Hold the Water

8/18/2014 by Rachel Stich

image-1408384532190-VGovernor Brown announced a State of Emergency in January 2014: California is experiencing the worst drought in recorded history. Fast forward to eight months later >>> We haven’t had nearly enough rain to impact the drought, and Angelinos are still using 122-129 gallons of water per day. This past weekend at Nate’n Al Deli in Beverly Hills I was pleasantly surprised by a sign on our table that read “Doing Our Part. Due to the statewide water drought, Nate’n Al is conserving water. We will glady serve water upon request”. To be honest, that is the first sign I’ve seen at a restaurant since January, and I frequent restaurants in LA more often than I’d like to admit. Read More…

The Waterkeeper is Back!

7/31/2014 by Michael Quill

Screen Shot 2014-07-31 at 2.23.00 PMAfter spending most of June and July in the shop, our boat, The Waterkeeper, is back on the boat and ready for action. MPA Watch Boat Trips and Kelp Restoration Dives are posted and ready for volunteers. Read More…

Bringing Industrial Sites into the Light

7/21/2014 by Tatiana Gaur

USM_6Do you ever find yourself driving through South Central Los Angeles, looking at streets lined by auto dismantlers, scrap metal recyclers, junkyards, waste transfer stations, and industrial sites of all kinds and thinking “I didn’t know there is so much industry in Los Angeles?” In fact, there are literally thousands of such industrial sites in Los Angeles County, many of them discharging pollutants, including bacteria, oil and grease and toxic metals both during storms and in dry weather. Read More…

Connecting the Los Angeles River Bike Path

7/3/2014 by Jeffrey Van Name

Blog Picture_JeffreyIt was not long ago that I joined Los Angeles Waterkeeper as the organization’s new law fellow. Although I came to Los Angles Waterkeeper from Portland, Oregon, I lived in Southern California the majority of my life. So, in recognition of my return to the Los Angeles area, I recently hopped on my bicycle for a self-guided re-acquaintance tour around the city. Read More…

Making Waves: From the City to the Sea

6/26/2014 by Amanda Gruen

LAWK-26Last Thursday, June 19th, Los Angeles Waterkeeper hosted our annual gala event at The Fairmont Miramar luxury hotel and bungalows in Santa Monica. The event was appropriately called Making Waves: From the City to the Sea because we honored the City of Los Angeles, LA Sanitation’s Enrique Zaldivar and Adel Hagekhalil and the employees from LA Sanitation who have implemented succeful improvements on the ground throughout the city. Read More…

Inland Waters Receive Protection from Oil Spills

6/16/2014 by Brian Meux

James River oil fireThe California legislature approved the 2014-15 state budget, and with were provisions for the California Department of Fish and Wildlife Office of Spill Prevention and Response (OSPR) regarding inland oil spills- a huge step towards protecting all inland bodies of water like creeks, rivers, ponds, lakes and wetlands in California from rail, pipeline, and truck spills. Read More…

SSos, CSSAs, and VIPs: LA Waterkeeper Honors LA Sanitation

6/12/2014 by Brent Peich

maintenance_holeIt’s easy when preparing for a big benefit like LA Waterkeeper’s upcoming Making Waves event to get lost in pressing details. After all, we try incredibly hard to plan a great night for our guests and to raise funds necessary for our operations.  Read More…

A Stinking Mess

6/2/2014 by Lara Meeker

photo 1Last week a school of fish caused quite a stink in Marina del Rey. Sadly, an entire school of anchovies ended up in a shallow dead-end basin of the marina, and before they managed to swim out to more open waters, the thousands of fish used up the available oxygen and suffocated. These mass mortality events are tragic, but not necessarily a sign of foul play. Read More…

Report from the Atwater Oil Spill

5/16/2014 by Liz Crosson

photo Yesterday’s oil spill in Atwater Village, Los Angeles is a reminder of the risks we take when we transport crude oil hundreds of miles through communities and ecosystems. I was at the scene of the crime- taped off by caution tape and surrounded by city officials and police- and this is what I was told… Read More

Join us on May 19th for a New Community Program Offering

5/8/2014 by Michael Quill

MPA PD Flier_ NB_LAWaterkeeper_5.19.14[1]Marine Protected Area Teacher Workshop

Contact Community Programs Manager, Michael Quill at if you’d like more information. Read More…

LA Waterkeeper Lawsuit Settlement is Another Step Towards Clean Water for LA

5/2/2014 by Tatiana Gaur

LARecycling_bales_entrancetrash_frontgate On April 25, 2014, the federal district court in Los Angeles entered five consent decrees settling our most recent lawsuits against Bestway Recycling’s five sites located in Gardena, Los Angeles, Culver City and Pomona. Read More…

Want to Organize a Beach Clean-up?

4/29/2014 by Amanda Gruen

10254017_786195911413433_4650995824193814386_n It’s far too often that we are out on the beach, enjoying the beautiful southern California weather and all of the sudden our attention is diverted to the Cheeto’s bag blowing across the sand. It is gross! And littered beaches are not a legacy that we want to pass down to future generations. Decide to make a difference! LA Waterkeeper will help you organize a beach clean-up! Read More…

Native Curb Appeal

4/15/2014 by Lara Meeker

native plant gardenThe recent rain showers and warm weather have brought spring into full bloom in southern California. Last weekend I thought what better way to view California wildflowers then to tour drought tolerant native gardens in Los Angeles during the annual Theodore Payne Foundation’s California Native Plant Garden Tour. Read More…

One Water- From Concept to Council

4/3/2014 by Liz Crosson

Screen Shot 2014-04-03 at 2.30.46 PM

Yesterday, I attended a hearing of the Energy and Environment Committee of the LA City Council. The councilmembers and city staff discussed several water related items that had a common thread. The City, under the leadership of Councilmember Fuentes, is pursuing the “One Water” planning concept under the coordination of the LA City Bureau of Sanitation and the LA Department of Water Power. Read More…

Building Community Dialogue Around Water

3/27/2014 by Michael Quill

Trash with CranesLA Waterkeeper’s Community Programs are building arenas of dialogue in communities continually polluted by street dumping and businesses that defy the Clean Water Act. This community driven action brings to the table more opportunities for stakeholder involvement in monitoring the health of our habitat. Our MPA Watch Boat Trip program and other Water Quality programs are driven by volunteer participation. Sun Valley, Vernon, and the Alameda corridor of Los Angeles are areas that are calling for community volunteer attention. Read More…

Clean Water Warriors

3/19/2014 by Tatiana Gaur

DSC05115The much-awaited rain during the last days of February and early March was a welcome break from the drought and a great opportunity for Los Angeles Waterkeeper’s dedicated S.W.A.T. volunteers to collect storm water samples from nearly one dozen industrial sites throughout LA County. Read More…

MPA Winter Photo Contest

3/11/2014 by Amanda Gruen
UntitledThe 2014 Winter MPA Photo Contest deadline is quickly approaching on March 21. This is our sixth MPA Photo Contest and we have seen some incredible photos! The goal of these photo contests is to collect photos of our new MPAs and develop a photo-timeline of their existence.

MPAs (Marine Protected Areas) are areas in the ocean where consumptive activities, like fishing, are prohibited or restricted. Similarly to our National Parks on land like Yosemite and Yellowstone, MPAs are like underwater National Parks where all natural resources are protected.  Read More…


Los Angeles is Banning Fracking!

3/5/2014 by Brian Meux

labansfrackingOn Friday, February 28, 2014, the Los Angeles City Council approved a moratorium on “hydraulic fracturing, acidization, and gravel packing” (a.k.a fracking) within city limits on a unanimous 10-0 vote. The Council directed City Attorney Mike Feuer’s office to draft a zoning ordinance banning fracking in L.A., and will hold a final vote once the zoning ordinance has been drafted. Read More…

Planning and Planting for Drought and Flood

2/24/2014 by Maggie Hall

photo 2 (1)With California suffering a historic drought, it may seem like an odd time to plan for the harmful runoff that rain can cause. But this week’s forecasted storm should be a reminder of the impact of storm water discharges on water quality. As businesses and homeowners update their landscaping to become drought tolerant, now is a good time to plan ahead to manage runoff. Read More…

Tide Pooling

2/20/2014 by Lara Meeker

1008236_10102161183882004_85015459_oIt’s no wonder why Southern California beaches are so popular in the summer, the expansive white sandy beaches and hot sunny weather are ideal for summer vacations and weekends. But when it’s too stormy for sun-bathing and the surf isn’t good is when tidepooling is the best. Read More…

Show the Ocean Some Love This Valentine’s Day

2/12/2014 by Rachel Stich

Valentine's Day Aftermath Feb 2013It’s 7:00 AM on Friday, February 14th, and you just remembered what day it is. You jump out of bed, race over to Ralphs (in your PJ’s) and grab a bouquet of roses and a bunch of pink and red balloons. You’ve got to get home before she wakes up, and you’re cutting it close, so you shove the balloons in the car as quickly as possible. Sh*t! You let one go. Read More…

Pointing the Finger at Fukushima

1/27/2014 by Michael Quill

BottleOver the past two years we have conducted 5-6 MPA Watch trips each month. More often than not we come across a few folks fishing from the shore inside of MPAs, and a few folks fishing from boats inside the MPAs. We continue to document all boating and fishing activity, spread the word about MPAs to those we encounter on the water, spread MPA information to our community, and encourage signage placement by collecting location of onshore fishing. Read More..

The Clean Water New Year’s Resolution

1/21/2014 by Tatiana Gaur

Screen Shot 2014-01-07 at 3.50.32 PM It’s January again. Another year and many more achievements to celebrate at Los Angeles Waterkeeper, including our 20th anniversary. But we don’t spend much time looking back, resting comfortably on our laurels (no matter how much we like them!), or even worse, wondering what to do with ourselves after the glitter and noise of the holidays are gone. We really hit the ground running, as they say, during the first month of 2014… Read More

 California King Tides

12/29/2013 by Amanda Gruen

kingtide King Tides, very simply, are the biggest tides of the year. They occur when the sun and moon exert gravity on the earth in such a way that tidal motion is maximized. During these days we experience the highest high tides and the lowest low tides of the year. King Tides in California often coincide with winter storms causing water levels to rise even higher! Read More…

Better Brakes for Clean Water

12/10/2013 by Lara Meeker

freeway in the rainIt’s no secret that I have a lot of car trouble. We have a love-hate relationship and I’m fortunate to be able to ride my bike to work most days. On a trip to the mechanic recently I got to thinking about our vehicles and traffic’s impact on water quality. With over 6 million vehicles in the LA region, and infamous traffic jams, we have some pretty grimy roads. Read More…

Thankful for Water

11/27/2013 by Rachel Stich

smbk-sunset-VeniceBch63Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays, not only because of the amazing food, but also the opportunity to reflect on everything that I am grateful for. This year, I am thankful for my friends and family, health, a job that I love, a roof over my head, and water. Read More…


Back Again

11/22/2013 by Tatiana Gaur

photoOn November 15, 2013, less than a year after issuing its first draft regulations on fracking, the Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources (DOGGR) of the California Department of Conservation issued a new draft set of rules for fracking and other well stimulation treatments. Simultaneously, DOGGR issued a Notice of Preparation of Environmental Impact Report for the draft well stimulation rules under CEQA (California Environmental Quality Act). Read More…


New MPA Watch Volunteers Collect Data and Balloons

11/15/2013 by Michael Quill

Joey-Nikita-Nathan balloons 11-2013 Waves of new volunteers from New Earth, Santa Monica College, Antioch University BA and Bridge Program, Canyon High School, Kennedy High School, Humbolt State, CSUN, CSLB, Santa Monica High School, and Pacifica Graduate Institute have joined other diverse members of our community who are answering the call to tend to our ailing waters by getting involved with LA Waterkeeper. Read More…


Running for the River

11/8/2013 by Maggie Hall

IMG_0035 Last weekend I joined the team Runners at LAW (LA Waterkeeper) on the LA River 10K. It was promising to see so many Angelenos take advantage of recreation along the LA River, which is more famous as a movie backdrop for car races than for its’ riparian habitat. But that association is starting to change. Read More…

First Flush, First at the Scene of the Crime

11/4/2013 by Liz Crosson

IMG_1874 Although it doesn’t rain often in Los Angeles, when it does, it pours. In less than 20 days a year, LA averages about 15 inches of rain. And the major riverine artery of LA, the Los Angeles River, is one of the fastest and steepest flowing rivers in an urban environment. The LA River watershed drops more than 7,000 feet in a little over forty miles, from its highest point in the San Gabriel Mountains to the river’s outlet in Long Beach. Read More…

LA Waterkeeper Presents At Santa Monica High School

10/22/2013 by Amanda Gruen

DG3A1241 Last week, Biology and Marine Biology students at Santa Monica High School had their classes shaken up, and it wasn’t just because of the schools’ earthquake drill. Five classes were taken over for one day to learn what it means to be a part of LA Waterkeeper. I have been visiting Santa Monica High School classes every year since I came on board as an Outreach Coordinator here at LA Waterkeeper. Read More…


Restoring Kelp is for Seniors, Too!

10/11/2013 by Brian Meux

TBoyd_130907_9165 As the lead for LA Waterkeeper on the Kelp Project, one of my duties is to give presentations to all sorts of community groups interested in restoring and monitoring kelp forests. I mostly present to dive shops and clubs as a combined effort of education and volunteer recruitment. We try to present to all stakeholders that are connected to the health of our Los Angeles kelp forests- including the very young or very old. Read More…


I Spy Trash

10/1/2013 by Lara Meeker

DSCF0358In the 2 1/2 years I’ve lived in Los Angeles and worked at LA Waterkeeper, I’ve been involved in over two dozen beach and river cleanups, but the world just keeps getting dirtier. If you’ve ever been to a cleanup before, you know what I’m talking about. It’s the day after the cleanup and you’re walking down your street or out running errands and a Dorito bag catches your eye from under a bush. Read More…

September to Remember

9/18/2013 by Tatiana Gaur

1175663_630894126943613_868386379_nIt’s that time of year again- back to school, back to work, back to normal life. And for us in Southern California, September is the month that reminds us that the rainy season season is just around the corner. As a child, I loved the rain and its amazing power to wash and clean up everything, replacing the heat and dust with bright colors and the fresh smell of water, soil and plants. The rain,  although I get to experience it a lot less here than in my native country Bulgaria, has not lost its magic for me. Read More…

The Ocean’s View of Tashlich

9/9/2013 by Lauren Deutsch

Tash Crowd 1If you were at the beach just before sundown a week ago, you may have noticed unusually large numbers of groups of folks, standing at the water’s edge, throwing breadcrumbs out of their pockets and into the water. This is part of the Jewish ritual of tashlich in commemoration of Rosh Hashanah, the beginning of the Jewish new year. Read More…


Storm Water Everywhere, Not A Lot of Enforcement

9/4/2013 by Maggie Hall

Ballona Creek This summer I moved to Los Angeles from Portland, Oregon, and became the new law fellow with Los Angeles Waterkeeper. It has not taken me long to grasp the size of the county’s water quality problems. This much is clear: Industrial facilities from all parts of L.A. county are operating in violation of federal and state clean water laws, and regulators are often overwhelmed or disinterested. Read More…

Keep Those Nurdles Out of our Rivers and Ocean!

8/29/2013 by Liz Crosson

nurldes by train trackLA Waterkeeper Looks to Plastics Manufacturing Industry to Address Nurdles Pollution

Over the past year, LA Waterkeeper has been researching the impacts of plastic pellet pollution and investigating sources of this pollution in Los Angeles. Studies abound that demonstrate that plastics found in aquatic ecosystems, like our rivers and ocean, can have severe impacts on freshwater and marine species. Read More…

MPA Foggy Summer Dolphin Days

8/22/2013 by Michael Quill

Dolphin flying 7-13 Malibu Most of our MPA Watch trips this summer have been cloaked in blankets of dense fog. However, the thick layer of marine moisture has not dampened the fishing action in Santa Monica Bay. While we have the opportunity to monitor violations and then pass out MPA maps and regulations to those community members who are unaware of the restricted fishing area regulations, most folks are fishing legally outside of the MPAs. Read More…

Star- Studded Bash for LA Waterkeeper & Sustainable Surf at Paradise Cove

8/1/2013 by Amanda Gruen

blog2As the sun set behind Point Dume in Malibu last Tuesday night, the stars came out to shine. Minnie Drive sang with the “Bitch’n All Stars”, a super band including Rami Jaffee (Foo Fighters, Sound City Players, Wallflowers), Jessy Greene (Foo Fighters, Sound City Players, Pink), Christopher Thorn (Blind Melon, AWOL Nation, Live), Brad Smith (Blind Melon), Dave Krusen (Pearl Jam), Jonny Kaplan and Dr. J (Jonny Kaplan and the Lazy Stars). Read More…

Palos Verdes to Be Protected During Oil Spill

7/25/2013 by Brian Meux

PV ACP whalesBefore today, it’s possible that the Palos Verdes Peninsula could have been ignored if an oil spill hit our coast. Today, I was given the chance to present to the local oil spill response professionals about protecting the Palos Verdes Peninsula. If you don’t know, there is a formal group that crafts the master plan of who, what, where, why and how to respond to oil spills in our area. Read More…

TSS, Conductivity, Indicator Bacteria…It’s All Greek to Me!

7/16/2013 by Lara Meeker

Volunteer in DrainWatch labI get a lot  of questions from people interested in volunteering in one of our water quality monitoring programs (SWAT and DrainWatch). One of the most common ones is, “What do you test for?”. The simple answer is we test parameters like pH, TSS, DO, FIB’s, dissolved metals, COD, etc. But that’s about the time I see people’s eyes glaze over, so let’s break it down and start from the beginning. Read More…

The Social Issues of Water Pollution

7/10/2013 by Rachel Stich

Skid Row TrashLos Angeles is the homeless capital of the nation, with more than 58,000 people living on the streets of our city. Among a list of reasons why addressing this issue should be a top priority is the fact that it has a major impact on water pollution in LA. Read More…

Unfrack California

7/3/2013 by Liz Crosson

Inglewood Oil FieldLast week, LA Waterkeeper submitted comments to the State of California’s Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources (DOGGR) on the agency’s “Discussion Draft” of new proposed regulations for fracking in California. A couple of things to note– Read More…

On the Water with Waterkeeper

6/26/2013 by Michael Quill

MPA WatchThis past Sunday we documented two kayak fisherman with lines in the waters of the Pt. Dume Marine Protected Area (MPA). Afterwards, we passed out a few MPA maps and guides, and shared local MPA regulation information with the grateful kayakers up from Orange County, who then paddled up on to legal fishing grounds just past El Matador State Beach. Read More…

Water Down the Drain

6/19/2013 by Tatiana Gaur

Culver City FloodLast Tuesday, I woke up with a lake in front of my house on a quiet residential street in Culver City right next to Ballona Creek. A thoughtful and compassionate neighbor of mine had run (or shall I say, waded?) through our neighborhood, knocking on every door to wake us all up to move our cars while we could. Read more…

Making REALLY Big Waves

6/12/2013 by Amanda Gruen

Making Waves It’s hard to write about our Making Waves 20th Anniversary celebration and feel like I am doing the event justice.  In short, in  raising $330,000 this was easily our most successful event ever!  The warm, late spring evening was perfect for the outdoor, elegant venue at the Fairmont Miramar Hotel and Bungalows in Santa Monica. Read More…

Oil Spill Exercise in Santa Monica Bay

5/21/2013 by Brian Meux

Oil Spill DrillAt the oil spill exercise, I was an observer but was able to represent the concerned public and submit my concerns of environmental impacts of oil to the Liaisons of the exercise.  Those representatives of the Coast Guard, State Fish and Wildlife, and Chevron were very professional in dealing with my concerns. Read More…

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