Cyclist Creek Freaks: Steward Malibu Creek June 23 2012

May 31, 2012 § Leave a comment

Volunteer crews at an earlier Mountains Restoration Trust Malibu Creek event

If you bike and you want to help out Malibu Creek, then here’s an event for you. On Saturday June 23rd from 9am-12noon, the Mountains Restoration Trust and Heal the Bay are hosting a work day to remove invasive plants at Malibu Creek State Park. Malibu Creek is one of the last remaining steelhead trout streams in Southern California.  « Read the rest of this entry »

A message from Heal the Bay

April 26, 2012 § 1 Comment

We received – and are forwarding –  an announcement by our friends at the Heal the Bay.  The following piece is from Kirsten James, HTB’s Water Quality Director.

The federal Clean Water Act turns 40 this year. Water quality has come a long way since 1972 but we’ve still got a lot of work to do to ensure that our waters remain safe and healthy. Our nation’s rivers are no longer catching on fire (e.g. the Cuyahoga River, circa 1969) but the battle for our creaks and rivers in Los Angeles rages on.

One of the pillars of the CWA is the stormwater permitting program. Municipal stormwater permits regulate all urban runoff discharge from separate storm sewer systems, so-called MS4s. Because stormwater is the No. 1 source of coastal pollution in California, these permits are a big deal for ensuring public health for those who recreate in our local waters. It’s also a major part of my job – ensuring that water quality regulations are as protective as they can be. And now ocean lovers have a major fight on their hands in Los Angeles County.

In 2001, the Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board adopted a municipal stormwater permit for Los Angeles County. The Regional Board is now considering a new permit for the county, after years of delay. As the board begins making critical decisions regarding the new permit, Heal the Bay is concerned about lobbying interests looking to weaken existing protections.

Board hearings over the summer will determine the fate of our local water quality for the next decade or more. We are at a fork in the road in terms of local water quality, with many cities and dischargers fighting hard to relax hard-won regulations that prevent them from dumping pollution into our waterways.

Our Regional Board can do the right thing and place strong protections (including pollution limits or TMDLs and low impact development requirements) in the permit. Or, they can make decisions that could result in dirtier water, and a higher risk of getting sick anytime you swim or surf. Heal the Bay will do everything we can to ensure that they make the right choice. We hope you will join us in the fight!

If you care about protecting the ocean and public health, we need you to make your voice heard. We need beachgoers of all stripes to attend a Regional Board workshop on May 3 designed to gather community input about local water quality regulations.

To fight for clean rivers, beaches and oceans, join our campaign: Taking L.A. by Storm (download flyer).

Attend the May 3 Regional Board workshop, the first of the hearings this summer, and let them know you want to be able safely swim at our beaches or fish in our rivers. Please help protect what you love.

To join us, RSVP with your name, email and ZIP Code.

Low Impact Development Passes L.A. City Council

December 18, 2010 § 1 Comment

The new LID ordinance will make permeable pavement sidewalks more common

At its final meeting of the year, yesterday, Friday December 17th 2010, the Los Angeles City Council passed “LID”  Low Impact Development. You can read some earlier background at Creek Freak and elsewhere, but basically it means that, in the city of Los Angeles, new development (and substantial redevelopment) will need will need to be more sustainable in regards to rainwater. Buildings, landscapes, parking lots, etc. will need to slow, detain and store and/or infiltrate water on-site, instead of speeding it into storm drains, creeks, rivers, and the sea.

This took a while. L.A. Creek Freak started reporting on the city of L.A. efforts in September 2009, attended a workshop in October 2009, and reported on the Public Works Board passing LID  in January 2010. Plenty more excellent coverage is available at Heal the Bay’s Mark Gold’s Spouting Off.

« Read the rest of this entry »

Showdown over Malibu Lagoon

October 12, 2010 § 14 Comments


From paperwork to project? We'll see... Click on image for link to Coastal Commission staff report on Malibu Lagoon.)


Tomorrow is the big showdown at the Coastal Commission over Malibu Lagoon’s restoration plan. There’s an odd volley of objections out there. My favorite in the absurdity category is that it’s like playing God by the Malibu Times’ Publisher Arnold York. What exactly were we playing at when we filled the original wetland? Heal the Bay’s Mark Gold details the rest of the objections and puts forward his response on Spouting Off. I encourage you to give it a read.

We’ll see how the commissioners respond to this onslaught of objections picking away at a restoration plan that focuses on removing human disturbances and impacts to a natural system and creating a structure for natural processes to maintain. I favor this approach because it is ultimately self-maintaining for habitat, and rebounds best when disturbances (like floods) occur. The lagoon’s current configuration does support some habitat, but anthropogenic issues that affect its health are well documented.

Very Clever Very Funny Plastic Bag Video

August 16, 2010 § 3 Comments

This one really needs no explanation… just watch and enjoy this beautifully shot and produced straight-faced mockumentary about the life of a plastic bag. « Read the rest of this entry »

Update: mudsnails, minutiae and the bigger picture

April 6, 2010 § Leave a comment

A quick follow up about my post last week, The trouble with mudsnails:  the LA Times article, which did a great job explaining the issues around the mudsnail proliferation, left out some details that help us appreciate how hard some of our NGOs are working behind the scenes to maintain healthy stream systems. Mark Abramson, featured in the article, was a part of Heal the Bay at the time « Read the rest of this entry »

Streaming in from the blogosphere

November 6, 2009 § 3 Comments

A couple of updates from the blogosphere:

Meredith McKenzie posts an update at ArroyoLover from two meetings pertinent to the Arroyo Seco:  news of Congressional funding for the Army Corps feasibility study and a report on the Station Fire damage within the Arroyo.  The Army Corps study follows up on several studies performed by local agencies and groups, such as the Arroyo Seco Watershed Restoration Feasibility Study (North East Trees, Arroyo Seco Foundation, Mountains Recreation Conservation Authority and National Park Service) and the Arroyo Seco Watershed Management and Restoration Plan(North East Trees), Cal Poly and Parkway studies and then some.  So, some of us are already convinced that reaches of the Arroyo can handle naturalization – let’s hope the Corps agrees!

For additional info on the Station Fire, fires and chapparral, there will be a free talk this Saturday night (and you’ll still have time to go out clubbing afterwards) hosted by the Theodore Payne Foundation with Richard Halsey of the Chaparral Institute and Jon Keeley, PhD of the US Geological Survey:  6:30-8:30pm, Clark Magnet High School Auditorium, 4747 New York Avenue, La Crescenta, CA 91214.

Reader Thal Armathura follows up to an earlier post, Woodburied Creek, (and Petrea Burchard’s Pasadena Daily Photo) in our comments section with links to more info on Woodbury Creek at Avenue to the Sky.

If your interests run more towards wastewater, the LA Times reports that the LA Regional Water Quality Control Board is (finally) taking action to prevent high-powered Malibu pooh from seeping downstream into Malibu Creek and Surfrider Beach.  Thank you, Tracy Egoscue for your leadership at the Board, and to Baykeeper and Heal the Bay and others whose persistence has resulted in action.

The Times also reports that statewide leadership is yielding a compromise on state water issues.  I’ll reserve judgement for now, as there is both praise and criticism, and just point you to the article.  Emily Green at Chance of Rain neatly summarizes the compromise (and gets extra credit for use of the word backslapathon in a sentence) and gives a blow-by-blow account of the maneuvers leading up to the compromise here (basically, if you don’t already, you should just have her bookmarked). [UPDATE] Reader NHB pointed out that Heal the Bay’s Mark Gold offers a critique of the deal at Spouting Off.

Last but not least from the Times this week is a report from Huntington Beach on a small coastal salt marsh that was filled without a permit by a developer, Beachfront Village LLC.

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