LA Waterkeeper in the News
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
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/
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
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/
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
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
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
Cagle, Kate (2016, December 10). Open Waters Offer Teens New Perspective. Santa Monica Daily Press. Retrieved from http://smdp.com
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
Nguyen, Alexander (2016, November 23). Dive Team Heads Underwater to Begin Investigation of Controlling Invasive Species. Palos Verdes Patch. Retrieved from http://patch.com
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
Reynolds, Ashley (2016, September 23). Chumash Community to Host Honor the Ocean Celebration. The Malibu Times. Retrieved from http://www.malibutimes.com/
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
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/
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
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/
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
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
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/
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
Segura, Daniella (2016, July 28). Potential desalination plant near Manhattan Beach debated. The Beach Reporter. Retrieved from http://tbrnews.com/
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/
VC Reporter – June 23, 2016
O’Neal, Chris (2016, June 23). Progress for clean water. VC Reporter. Retrieved from http://www.vcreporter.com
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.
Luster, Gary (2016, June 23). Waterkeeper exists to keep the flow ‘clean’. Culver City News. Retrieved from http://culvercitynews.org
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.’
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
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.”
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.
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.”
NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams- October 10, 2014
Cover of the Los Angeles Times– April 8, 2014
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.”
KCRW 89.9- January 30, 2014
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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. 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 , joins the show with more.
Westside People- May 26, 2013
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”
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.