LA Waterkeeper in the News


 Researchers turn to slashing and vaccuming invasive devil weed off Catalina, Palos Verdes

Daily Breeze – October 16, 2017

Devil weed is in the crosshairs.

Researchers have shown some promising results managing the invasive species of algae, also known by its scientific name Sargassum horneri, that has taken hold along swaths of the California coastline.

Off the coast of Catalina Island, researchers tested cutting the plants at the stem and sucking them off the ocean floor. And, off the coast of the Palos Verdes Peninsula, an ongoing [Los Angeles Waterkeeper] study to test the effectiveness of sucking away the plants is set to continue into a second year of attempting to preserve kelp forests by controlling the non-native plants… read more

Washicko, Cynthia (2017, October 16). Researchers turn to slashing and vacuuming invasive devil weed off Catalina, Palos Verdes. Daily Breeze. Retrieved from: http://dailybreeze.com/


 

These citizen scientists are hoping what they find in the LA River can help them save it

LA Daily News – January 31, 2017

Todd Barneck crouches near a trickle of storm-water deep within the bones of the concrete Los Angeles River and gently lays in a thermometer.

“That’s 16 degrees C, or about 60 degrees Fahrenheit,” he announces to the group…

On Saturday, he was one of eight all-volunteer citizen scientists organized by the Los Angeles Waterkeeper and Friends of the Los Angeles River, taking the ecological pulse of a channelized section of what passes for a river a stone’s throw from the rumbling, diesel-spewing trucks of the 710 Freeway in Maywood. Their hope is to bring restoration like that proposed for the river’s northeast Los Angeles section to their neck of the river… read more

Scauzillo, Steve (2017, January 31). These citizen scientists are hoping what they find in the LA River can help them save it. LA Daily News. Retrieved from: http://www.dailynews.com/


A Battle is Brewing Over a Proposal for a New Source of Water in the South Bay

LA Times – January 3, 2017

On a picturesque summer afternoon, West Basin Municipal Water District officials chose to woo regulators with a stroll by the beach in El Segundo, stopping to admire an unadulterated strip of California coastline.

“It is beautiful,” said Diane Gatza, West Basin’s water resources engineer. A few hours later, environmental advocates held a town hall two miles away in Manhattan Beach.

“The reason we’re here is West Basin Municipal Water District is proposing a … desal plant,” said Bruce Reznik, head of Los Angeles Waterkeeper. “Unfortunately, it seems a little bit like a done deal. We’re trying to stand up here and say that there are better alternatives.” …read more

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Stevens, Matt (2017, January 3). A Battle is Brewing Over a Proposal for a New Source of Water in the South Bay. LA Times. Retrieved from: http://latimes.com/


 

$4-Million Settlement Will Fund Stormwater Projects and a ‘Green Street’ for Watts

LA Times – December 12, 2016

A South Los Angeles street will get an environmentally friendly face-lift, and new rain gardens and cisterns soon will appear at homes across Los Angeles County thanks to a $4-million settlement reached late last month.

The agreement comes more than eight years after a pair of environmental advocacy organizations sued Los Angeles County and the Los Angeles Flood Control District over high levels of pollution in stormwater that flowed into the Los Angeles and San Gabriel rivers.

Specifically, the settlement will provide $2.8 million to develop and create a “green street” along 103rd Street in Watts and $1.2 million to fund small-scale stormwater capture, cleaning and reuse projects across unincorporated parts of L.A. County that are within the Los Angeles Flood Control District.

“We’re happy,” said Bruce Reznik, executive director of L.A. Waterkeeper, one of the groups that sued the county. “We’re really trying to focus on underserved communities.” …read more

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Stevens, Matt (2016, December 12). $4-million settlement will fund stormwater projects and a ‘green street’ for Watts. LA Times. Retrieved from: http://latimes.com/


 

Sargassum Called a Serious Threat to LA’s Coastal Waters. But There’s an App for That.

Santa Monica Observer – December 12, 2016

LA Waterkeeper’s scientific divers plunge into the Palos Verdes Peninsula to survey plots for algae removal.

Sargassum horneri was brought to LA’s waters in 2003 on shipping vessels. Known as devil’s weed, it’s causing concern for kelp forests, in particular, because local groups did an intensive effort from ’97 to 2015 tor restore kelp habitat.

A new research effort by LA Waterkeeper (based in Santa Monica), NOAA and UCSB is tracking the spread of it (using a phone app!) and examining effectiveness of removal strategies… read more

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Hampton, Jamie (2016, December 12). Sargassum Called a Serious Threat to LA’s Coastal Waters. But There’s an App for That. Santa Monica Observer. Retrieved from http://smobserved.com


Open Waters Offer Teens New Perspective

Santa Monica Daily Press – December 10, 2016

Tariq Morrow, Brian Parker and Avery Emerson are part of a new mentorship program with New Earth in Culver City. As they work their way through the criminal justice system, the program gives them a chance to get high school diplomas, make art and experience nature like this trip to Point Vicente and Abalone Cove off the coast of Palos Verdes.

Avery’s mentor and principal, Tony Zepeda, chaperoned the voyage. Every month they will be coming out onto to the water to learn about environmental efforts to restore natural habitats and marine life in the waters near Santa Monica.

The outing is part of a partnership between New Earth and L.A. Waterkeeper to get teens out of the city and onto the ocean. It’s a new tact for a four-year-old program run by Michael Quill, the community programs manager at the non-profit… read more

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Cagle, Kate (2016, December 10). Open Waters Offer Teens New Perspective. Santa Monica Daily Press. Retrieved from http://smdp.com


Dive Team Heads Underwater to Begin Investigation of Controlling Invasive Species

Palos Verdes Patch – November 23, 2016

Los Angeles Waterkeeper, a marine watchdog group, conducted an investigation Wednesday into the effectiveness of removing invasive algae to restore habitats along the Palos Verdes coastline.

The investigation specifically studies the non-native algae species Sargassum horneri. In 2003, Sargassum horneri was introduced to Long Beach Harbor in the form of biological pollution from commercial shipping vessels. Commonly called the “devil weed,” sargassum originates from Japan and Korea, but it has spread as far south as Baja, Mexico and north to Santa Barbara.

The introduction of non-native species is one of the greatest threats to our coastal marine environments… read more

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Nguyen, Alexander (2016, November 23). Dive Team Heads Underwater to Begin Investigation of Controlling Invasive Species. Palos Verdes Patch. Retrieved from http://patch.com


 Chumash Community to Host Honor the Ocean Celebration

The Malibu Times – September 23, 2016

Honor the Ocean, an educational event designed around marine protection and tradition, is coming to Zuma Beach this weekend.

Malibu’s local Chumash community and indigenous maritime peoples will celebrate Los Angeles’ indigenous population Sept. 24 in partnership with Sherman Indian High School, an off-reservation boarding school. The event will run from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. at Trancas Beach at Zuma in Malibu.

Participants in the Honor the Ocean celebration will have access to a full day of education on how to…read more

 

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Reynolds, Ashley (2016, September 23).  Chumash Community to Host Honor the Ocean Celebration. The Malibu Times. Retrieved from http://www.malibutimes.com/

 


 

Volunteers Pick Up Trash In Sea And Sand At Dockweiler State Beach For Coastal Cleanup Day

CBS Los Angeles – September 17, 2016

DOCKWEILER STATE BEACH (CBSLA.com)  —  They took the concept of Coastal Cleanup to an extreme Saturday.

Volunteers, literally, dug deep.

CBS2’s Joy Benedict reports that at Dockweiler State Beach, volunteers got in the water and cleaned like never before.

It’s a beautiful place to find sand and surf, she reported. But on second glance, if you look closely, things found at the beach might not be so appealing.

Just a few yards off shore, an auxiliary cord… read more

 

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CBSLA.com (2016, September 17). Volunteers Pick Up Trash In Sea And Sand At Dockweiler State Beach For Coastal Cleanup Day. CBS LA. Retrieved from http://losangeles.cbslocal.com/

 


Divers off Palos Verdes Peninsula begin fight against algae invading Southern California coast

Daily Breeze – September 18, 2016

A small, exploratory dive off the Palos Verdes Peninsula has launched an effort to curb an invasive algae species that has overwhelmed habitats along the California coast.

The three-person dive was the first as part of a Sargassum Abatement project begun by Los Angeles Waterkeeper, a nonprofit focused on protecting ocean waters along the Southern California Coast. The algae, Sargassum horneri, likely hitchhiked its way in the ballast water of ships coming from Japan and… read more

 

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Washicko, Cynthia (2016, September 18). Divers off Palos Verdes Peninsula begin fight against algae invading Southern California coast. Daily Breeze. Retrieved from http://www.dailybreeze.com/

 


Bayside Celebration to Honor Los Angeles’ Wave Makers on September 29

Santa Monica Mirror – September 15, 2016

Clean water is a reason to celebrate. On Thursday, September 29, Los Angeles Waterkeeper presents its 5th annual Making Waves benefit to honor the leaders transforming how the region protects and restores its local water resources. Business, philanthropic and community leaders will join special guest and LA Waterkeeper Founder Terry Tamminen at the soiree in Santa Monica…read more

 

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Mirror Staff (2016, September 15). Bayside Celebration to Honor Los Angeles’ Wave Makers on September 29. Santa Monica Mirror. Retrieved from http://www.smmirror.com/

 


 LA Waterkeeper Takes Water Boards to Court … for Ignoring Public Outcry On Dangerous Pollution Levels

City Watch – August 1, 2016

WATER WATCH– After a decision by the California State Water Resources Control Board and the Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board, legal pollution limits have increased to allow excessive amounts of copper and lead in the Los Angeles River and its tributaries. High levels of toxic pollution pose a serious threat to the marine life and possibly to people that depend on Los Angeles’ waters…read more

 

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Reznik, Bruce (2016, August 1). LA Waterkeeper Takes Water Boards to Court … for Ignoring Public Outcry On Dangerous Pollution Levels. City Watch. Retrieved from http://www.citywatchla.com/

 


Potential desalination plant near Manhattan Beach debated

The Beach Reporter – July 28, 2016

During last week’s meeting, opponents of the desalination plant, like Los Angeles Waterkeeper, Surfrider Foundation and Heal the Bay, extolled problems that could arise from a desalination plant. Many of these are the same issues Cooley sees with desalination plants….read more

BeachReporter_7.28.2016

Segura, Daniella (2016, July 28). Potential desalination plant near Manhattan Beach debated. The Beach Reporter. Retrieved from http://tbrnews.com/

 


 2.4 million gallon sewage spill was LA’s worst in 15 years

89.3 KPCC – July 21, 2016

“I think there’s been enough change in the city that this was an aberration”, Reznik said, adding that a 2.4 million gallon spill is still a major spill. “This is going to be a wake-up call to everybody to make sure we don’t fall back.” …read more

Guerin, Emily (2016, July 21). 2.1 million gallon sewage spill was LA’s worst in 15 years. 89.3KPCC. Retrieved from http://www.scpr.org/

 


Progress for clean water

VC Reporter – June 23, 2016

“The Ag Order includes enforceable water quality limits for wastewater discharges from farms, edge-of-field monitoring of discharges from individual farms and well-testing requirements that the Wishtoyo Foundation says will ‘protect farm workers from drinking contaminated water.’
The order was supported by an alphabet soup of environmental and Native American activist groups, including the Wishtoyo Foundation, Wishtoyo’s Ventura Coastkeeper Program, Santa Barbara Channelkeeper, Los Angeles Waterkeeper, CAUSE (Central Coast Alliance United for a Sustainable Economy) and the Center for Food Safety…” read more.

VC Reporter 6-23-2016O’Neal, Chris (2016, June 23). Progress for clean water. VC Reporter. Retrieved from http://www.vcreporter.com

Waterkeeper exists to keep the flow ‘clean’

Culver City News – June 23, 2016

“With the recent spate of incidents of black sludge emanating from local residential water faucets in such places as Crystal City, Texas and Gardena, Calif., the issue of clean water remains a top priority among advocates…” read more.

Culvier City News 6-26-2016

Luster, Gary (2016, June 23). Waterkeeper exists to keep the flow ‘clean’. Culver City News. Retrieved from http://culvercitynews.org

 


Water conservation has saved energy, cut greenhouse gas emissions, study finds

Los Angeles Times – June 7, 2016

‘“One of the things this Davis report shows, which people in the water sector have known for a long time, is if you really want to get a handle on climate change, you can’t do it without water conservation,” said Bruce Reznick, executive director of Los Angeles Waterkeeper.’

LATimes 6.7.2016

Smith, Joshua E. (2016, June 7). Water conservation has saved energy, cut greenhouse gas emissions, study finds. Los Angeles Times. Retrieved from http://www.latimes.com

 


Many California cities predict no conservation requirements under new water rules

The Sacramento Bee – May 19, 2016

For many environmentalists, on the other hand, the shift in approach represents a stunning retrenchment. They argue that California, as a whole, uses water as if much of the state isn’t desert, and that one year of forced conservation isn’t long enough to change habits.

“We have this program that’s been hugely, hugely successful,” said Bruce Reznik, executive director of the Los Angeles Waterkeeper. “And what is the state water board’s response? You get a little bit of rain and they walk away from it. … We know that these voluntary soft programs don’t work.”

Sacramento Bee 5.19.2016
Sabalow, Ryan & Reese, Phillip (2016, May 19). Many California cities predict no conservation requirements under new water rules. The Sacramento Bee. Retrieved from http://www.sacbee.com

Robert Kennedy Jr.: “Keep it Clean” Comedy Benefit for Waterkeeper Alliance

FoxLA.com – April 21, 2016

Robert Kennedy Jr., President of Waterkeeper Alliance, joined Fox 11 in their studios to talk about “Keep it Clean” — an annual comedy benefit for Waterkeeper Alliance, which features an impressive list of top comedians for the purpose of raising funds and awareness around the need for clean water sources around the world.

 

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 An ‘unsung hero’ by the sea

Santa Monica Daily Press – March 7, 2016

LAW’s Michael Quill recognized as one of the “Unsung Heroes of Los Angeles” by the California Community Foundation. His portrait is included a photography exhibit by the same name at LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes that will run through April 4, 2016.

“One of the ways that “hero” Quill is responsible for bringing social change to the community is through L.A. Waterkeeper’s Marine Protected Areas Boat Based Survey, a program that provides the opportunity for at-risk youth to reconnect to the planet and themselves.”

 


Drought-Stricken Californians Asked Not to Wash Their Cars

NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams- October 10, 2014

 

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Environmental SWAT Team Tests Runoff to Nab Polluters

Cover of the Los Angeles TimesApril 8, 2014

Cover of LA Times_ April 8 2014

 

 

 

 

 


 

Breaking: Los Angeles Passes Fracking Moratorium

EcoNews- February 28, 2014

Los Angeles is the largest city in the U.S. to place a moratorium on fracking. City council unanimously voted Friday afternoon to send a moratorium motion to the city attorney’s office to be written as a zoning ordinance. It will then return to council for a final vote.

“While state oil and gas regulators drag their feet on enforcing existing rules and taking adequate precaution for the health of our communities, rivers and ocean, L.A. residents suffer from what is already occurring at the nation’s largest urban oil field and in communities throughout the city,” said Liz Crosson, Executive Director of Los Angeles Waterkeeper. “We don’t know all of the chemicals oil companies are exposing us to when they frack in our neighborhoods, but we know enough to know we don’t want them in our air or in our water.”


King Tides

KCRW 89.9- January 30, 2014


California’s Drought: The New Normal

Eco Watch- January 18, 2014

Gov. Jerry Brown has officially declared a drought in the state of California. Californians are being asked to reduce their personal water usage by 20 percent in 2014, projected to become the driest year on record. Scientific projections regarding climate change suggest that these dry conditions could become the new normal. The drought proclamation formally recognizes that “extremely dry conditions…may continue beyond this year and more regularly into the future.” This calls for permanent and fundamental changes in our behavior.


First Flush Results Not Good for Santa Monica

Santa Monica Daily Press- December 22, 2013

If you saw the beach in October after the first rain of the season then you know it was gross. Birds picked through the garbage that made its way from the mainland down to the edge of the shore. But the first flush was detrimental to the city by the sea in ways that don’t meet the eye. Samples from two dozen industrial facilities throughout the county taken during the flush by Los Angeles Waterkeeper, a Santa Monica-based advocacy group, showed dangerously high levels of fecal bacteria and heavy metals.


First Flush, First at the Scene of the Crime

Huffington Post- November 12, 2013

“The first flush and the upcoming rainy season is a crucial time for LA Waterkeeper to identify and assess some of the major sources of storm water pollution that plague our waterways, including the LA River. As part of our Water Quality Monitoring program, the Storm Water Assessment Team (S.W.A.T.) is a group of trained volunteers that conduct investigative storm water sampling when it rains at industrial facilities suspected of violating federal and state clean water laws. The storm water samples are then tested at state certified labs for heavy metals including iron, aluminum, copper, lead, zinc, and mercury, and trash and fecal bacteria. The data we collect from this year’s rain will be used to influence statewide and regional water quality regulations and to ensure, sometimes through litigation, that industrial facilities are operating in compliance with standards set to protect public health and the environment”- Liz Crosson, Executive Director, Los Angeles Waterkeeper


 

Whenever it Rains, Los Angeles Waterkeeper Goes Out and Collects Storm Water Samples at Industrial Sites

KCRW  89.9 FM- October 10, 2013


Volunteers Hit SoCal Beaches for Coastal Cleanup Day

KTLA Los Angeles, Channel 5 News – September 21, 2013

Over 400 volunteers collected and removed 250 lbs. of trash at Dockweiler Beach, Tower 60 as part of Los Angeles Waterkeeper’s Coastal Cleanup Day. In partnership with the California Coastal Commission and Heal the Bay, LA Waterkeeper’s beach cleanup site uniquely featured a sea cleanup by volunteer scuba divers and a “Pellet Watch” where volunteers sifted through sand for micro-plastics (broken down plastic that comes from factories, industrial plants and plastic litter). Participants came in busloads from near and far to participate in Los Angeles Waterkeeper’s cleanup. For some, this was their first trip to the beach. Among the items discovered on the beach was a 120 lb. piece of carpet.


Los Angeles Waterkeeper Conducts First Trash Survey in Urban Rivers Throughout Los Angeles

KPFK 90.7 FM, Pacific Evening News- September 19, 2013

Los Angeles Waterkeeper, along with other Keepers and agencies, is conducting the first Bight 13 study of trash in urban rivers from Los Angeles to San Diego. An expansion of a study started last year, Bight 13 focuses on the impact of urban land use through trash/debris assessments to better understand the sources of riverine pollution. Trained volunteers will follow a systematic procedure to characterize every item in a segment of river.  Los Angeles Waterkeeper will cover more than 6 river locations in the Los Angeles River and Santa Monica Bay Watersheds from now until the first big rain of the season. Partner agencies, including the City of Los Angeles and Algalita Marine Research Institute, are simultaneously conducting a study of marine debris found in the Santa Monica Bay and all results will be presented early next year.


 Divers Restore Kelp Forest off Palos Verdes-One Sea Urchin at a Time

KCRW- Which Way LA- September 16, 2013

Off the coast of Palos Verdes, the ocean floor is home to millions of purple urchins…and not much else. Kelp forests are iconic to the California coastline. Southern California is a world-class destination for divers looking to feel like they’re flying through a redwood forest, immersed in a paradisaical underwater ecosystem. But the water off of the Palos Verdes Peninsula is home to an exploding population of purple sea urchins, surprisingly destructive creatures that are wiping out the kelp forests needed to sustain a vibrant marine ecosystem. The are has become what scientists call an “urchin barren”, a desolate stretch of the seafloor where the urchin population has gone unchecked, trashing kelp forest and reducing biodiversity. Now, scientists, environmentalists and fisherman are coming together in a massive undertaking. The goal? To kill off 5 million purple sea urchins and thus restore the billowing canopies of kelp forest the area was once known for.


Sea Urchins Threatening Kelp Off Palos Verdes

ABC 7 Los Angeles- August 23, 2013

“…Reducing urchin density is the number one way to bring back kelp forests”- Brian Meux, Marine Program Manager, Los Angeles Waterkeeper


Appeals Court Deals Setback to L.A. County in Storm Water Case

Los Angeles Times- August 8, 2013

The U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals dealt a setback to Los Angeles County on Thursday in a long-running lawsuit over storm-water pollution. The Natural Resources Defense Council and Santa Monica Baykeeper — now Los Angeles Waterkeeper — sued the county flood control district in 2008 over pollution in the Los Angeles and San Gabriel rivers, alleging that the flood control district had violated its storm water permit.

The lawsuit cited high pollution readings at monitoring stations in the rivers. County officials have argued that the flood control district is not primarily to blame for the pollution in the rivers, because there are dozens of cities discharging polluted runoff upstream from the monitoring sites. Last year, the 9th Circuit ruled that the county was liable for pollution in the rivers, and referred to the water flowing from the “concrete channels” into the natural part of the lower river as discharges of pollutants. The U.S. Supreme Court in January reversed that opinion, saying that water flowing from one “concrete” section of the river to another section cannot be deemed a “discharge” of pollutants. It did not rule on a number of other issues raised in the case. The 9th Circuit issued an opinion Thursday saying that the county is still liable for excessively high pollution levels detected at monitoring stations in county waterways. Unless the county appeals, the case will go back to the federal district court to determine how the county will be required to fix the violations.


California Bill Regulating Ocean Trash Dies in Assembly Without A Vote

KPCC 89.3 FM, Southern California Public Radio- May 27, 2013

If part of your memorial day plans include a trip to the beach, please make sure not to leave any trash behind. Thousands of pounds of garbage wind up in the Pacific ocean every week, and things often get worse on holidays. Assembly Bill 521, which would have required manufacturers to be responsible for keeping most common plastic junk out of state waterways, died Friday in the state Assembly without even a vote. Liz Crosson, executive director of LA Waterkeeper, joins the show with more.


LA Waterkeeper: 20 Years of Environmental Activism

Westside People- May 26, 2013

It’s four in the morning and the late night reconnaissance crew at LA Waterkeeper is tired and hungry, but they keep pushing on. There’s a rare all-night rainstorm going on in Los Angeles, so this is their chance to grab valuable water samples. They’re in the gutters looking for pollution that might be headed to storm drains and out into the ocean. This morning they’re looking for industrial metals, the kind that flow from scrap metal yards or auto shops. In recent months, this small team of environmental sleuths has been targeting some of the biggest industrial polluters in the city, which means they’ve found some pretty disgusting places.

“There are some really nasty spots,” says executive director Liz Crosson, who personally takes part in the late night missions. “We play a really important role in ensuring that polluters are held responsible. We’re willing to get out there and be on the ground and collect the data.”


Liz Crosson: Standing Up for Clean Water

Huffington Post: The Blog- April 24, 2012

“Forty years ago our nation’s waterways had become a dumping ground for trash, sewage, oil, and chemicals. A small but powerful network of groups and individuals have used the Clean Water Act to take on powerful corporate and government polluters, and in doing so, have brought our rivers, streams, lakes, bays and ocean back from the brink”


$6.6 Million Settlement Reached on Malibu Beach Water Pollution

Los Angeles Times- April 13, 2012

Malibu has reached a $6.6-million legal settlement with environmental groups that both sides say will protect beachgoers by reducing the amount of polluted storm runoff that reaches the ocean.

 

The settlement of a 2008 federal Clean Water Act lawsuit against the city by Santa Monica Baykeeper [now Los Angeles Waterkeeper] and the Natural Resources Defense Council was approved Friday by a unanimous vote of the Malibu City Council during a special closed-session meeting. The agreement requires Malibu to build rain-water harvesting, infiltration or treatment devices to catch storm water before it is released from 17 storm drains throughout the city. In all, the work will cost about $5.6 million, said City Atty. Christi Hogin, who noted that Malibu is already undertaking 11 of those projects. The city also agreed to pay the environmental groups $750,000 in legal fees and set aside $250,000 to fund an ocean health assessment of Santa Monica Bay in collaboration with scientists at Cal State Northridge.


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