Heal the Bay
Heal the Bay is a nonprofit environmental organization making Southern California coastal waters and watersheds safe, healthy and clean. We use science, education, community action and advocacy to pursue our mission.
Started 4 petitions
Don't Let EPA Rollbacks Threaten Public Health During COVID-19 Pandemic
As we respond to COVID-19, we must ensure reliable access to safe and clean water for the sake of public health and the natural resources on which we depend. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) just rolled back several regulations meant to protect our environment and our health. Why? Because oil and gas industry executives are worried about the effect the COVID-19 pandemic will have on their wallets. It's now up to the California State Water Resources Control Board to decide on a case-by-case basis when to allow for environmental protections to be violated. We're asking the State Water Board to protect the environment and the health of our community. Tell them not to be lenient with the fossil fuel industry, to only give leniency to essential services when it is truly necessary and does not jeopardize public health, and to ensure transparency throughout the entire process. The EPA's action puts public health further at risk by not holding industries accountable for their legal requirements to control their pollution, and it applies across-the-board to any facility regulated by the EPA including private industries that discharge polluted water, as well as essential services including drinking water or wastewater treatment facilities. COVID-19 continues to cause devastating impacts across all sectors, from individuals to small mom-and-pop businesses to large factories. There may be cases when a relaxation in requirements is acceptable to help those businesses, but to cease oversight altogether is not the answer. Any flexibility needs to be assessed on a case-by-case basis because we must ensure reliable access to safe and clean water, especially during this public health crisis. Now is not the time for blanket rollbacks of protective environmental regulations. To do this puts people’s health further at risk, particularly those who are already disproportionately burdened by pollution and the inequitable distribution of resources, and who are likely to be most impacted by COVID-19. Beginning April 1, the State Water Board will be reviewing, on a case-by-case basis, requests from regulated entities to roll back protective measures related to water during the COVID-19 response. Make your voice heard! Sign this petition with Heal the Bay to tell our State Water Board to: Uphold environmental regulations to protect public and environmental health, Only give leniency when it is truly necessary and does not jeopardize public health, and Ensure transparency so the public can know when any leniency is given in order to adequately protect themselves and report any issues, and to allow environmental nonprofit groups like Heal the Bay to watchdog the decision-making process.
Pass the Plastic Pollution Reduction Act
We’re concerned that single-use plastics are wreaking havoc on our neighborhoods and natural environments. The only solution is to shift away from single-use and move toward a thriving culture of reuse! California representatives introduced Senate Bill 54 and Assembly Bill 1080 in 2019 to drastically reduce single-use product and packaging waste for generations to come. These bills, known as the California Circular Economy and Plastic Pollution Reduction Act, come as widespread concerns are being raised about single-use plastic pollution and its impact on water quality, our food supply, marine ecosystem health, and our carbon footprint. Sign this petition urging the California Senate and Assembly to fast-track the approval of the California Circular Economy and Plastic Pollution Reduction Act in 2020. The bills set the framework for a 75% reduction of all single-use plastic packaging and products sold in California by 2032, with the rest being effectively recyclable or compostable. An unchecked plastic waste stream is a global threat. We are now finding microplastics everywhere they shouldn’t be: our drinking water, seafood, table salt, and even in our soil. Exposure to plastics and associated toxins has been linked to cancers, birth defects, impaired immunity, endocrine disruption, and other serious health issues. As a trusted ocean and watershed water quality watchdog, Heal the Bay is guided by the best science, not emotion. Over the last 35 years, our nonprofit organization has seen first-hand how plastic pollution has wreaked havoc on animals and the outdoor places we all cherish. We've hosted thousands of public beach cleanups in Los Angeles County, California with volunteers, and together we’ve removed over 4 million trash items. Nearly 70% of this waste is plastic. We’re not the only ones doing cleanups. Communities around the world are joining forces and volunteering to remove waste from the natural environment. While beach cleanups are helping to eradicate what’s on shore, there are still 8 million tons of plastic being dumped into our oceans every year. That’s equivalent to one garbage truck-full every single minute. Today, we produce over 300 million tons of plastic every year. That's equivalent to the weight of nearly the entire human population. And with an expected 20% increase in plastic production predicted over the next decade, the problem is only getting worse. Cleanups can be costly and this tactic alone can’t keep up with the production of plastics. Existing recycling infrastructure can’t keep pace either. Less than 9% of plastic is recycled, and that percentage is dropping since the implementation of new policies in India and China, which severely restrict the amount of waste from the United States that can be accepted. We need to take urgent action to stop this toxic waste stream from continuing to build up. Unlike natural materials that biodegrade, nearly every piece of plastic ever produced still exists. As these items fragment into smaller particles, known as microplastics, they concentrate toxins and become impossible to remove from the natural environment. If we continue on our current course, scientists have estimated that by 2050 there will be more plastic than fish in the sea by mass. Upstream incentives that tackle plastic packaging and distribution at the source are the only solutions left. Heal the Bay and Plastic Pollution Coalition advocate for the urgent approval of the California Circular Economy and Plastic Pollution Reduction Act. Tell our elected officials to implement strong, comprehensive environmental policies so California can lead the United States away from single-use plastics and disposables for good.
Let’s Stop Wasting Stormwater!
Let’s stop wasting water that can be reused. Let’s stop sending pollution to the ocean. Let’s stop harming wildlife with our trash. 80 Billion gallons of rain water are wasted each year in L.A. County. Please urge the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors to start treating runoff as a resource—not a nuisance. L.A. County receives over 100 billion gallons of rain water on average each year. Our current stormwater system captures only 20 percent of this water resource. Where does the rest go? This wasted water flows through streets, storm drains and rivers directly into the Pacific Ocean, taking with it oil, trash and plastic pollution, fecal bacteria, and other contaminants. These pollutants pose a serious health and safety risk to anyone who visits the rivers, streams or ocean, and to any animal that lives in these habitats. Securing our water future can’t wait. Today, 85 percent of L.A. County’s water is piped in from locations up to 400 miles away. These critical water lifelines for millions of Angelenos are at risk from drought, earthquakes and other natural disasters. In addition to ongoing efforts to conserve water at home, we must also come together as a community to conserve our rain water. Only 11 percent of L.A. County’s water supply comes from stormwater. We can triple that amount with more local rain water capture and treatment. Innovative nature-based, water quality stormwater management projects, including rain gardens and green alleys are sprouting up in neighborhoods across L.A. County. Treated stormwater can be used in place of drinking water for irrigation, or to replenish our groundwater resources. These projects all function to increase water supply, improve water quality, decrease flooding and provide new green space, particularly in disadvantaged communities. We must invest in nature-based, water quality solutions to decrease our water waste, improve environmental and public health, and create over 7,000 new green jobs in the process. On July 17, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors will decide whether to place a public funding measure on the November 2018 ballot that could raise $300 million for nature-based, water quality projects. Make your voice heard during this critical decision-making process. Sign this petition with Heal the Bay to tell the L.A. County Board of Supervisors to add a Stormwater Funding Measure to the November 2018 ballot. We are a proud member of OurWaterLA, a diverse coalition of local community leaders and organizations united to create a strong water future for Los Angeles.
Demand A Strong EPA For Our Bays
Let’s not trash the EPA. Reject Scott Pruitt as its new chief. Members of the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works recently boycotted the vote for Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt’s nomination to lead the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. This comes as widespread, bipartisan concerns are being raised about Pruitt's record of challenging the core mission of the agency he’s been asked to lead. Many question Pruitt’s future commitment to protect public health, enforce the law, and hold corporations accountable to maintain healthy water, air, and land in their business practices. Pruitt has sued the EPA on behalf of regulated industries more than a dozen times in an attempt to weaken regulations such as the federal Clean Water Act. These regulations form the bedrock of our work at Heal the Bay and our sister organizations across the nation. They are hard-fought gains that were direct responses to past disasters. We cannot go back. A silenced, weakened EPA is a threat to our Bays. The U.S. Senate will vote on the appointment of Pruitt as EPA chief in the coming hours amid growing concerns about a broad directive from the new administration to censor EPA research, indefinitely. As a trusted ocean and watershed advocate, Heal the Bay is guided by the best science, not emotion. Over the last 30 years, we have seen first-hand how the EPA and its partner organizations can improve public health for Angelenos through environmental policies and regulations. A weakened EPA means turning back the clock on our critical programs in Greater Los Angeles that monitor beach water quality, prevent unsafe consumption of locally caught fish, protect our dwindling wetlands, and keep our streams and watersheds healthy to buffer communities from climate change. Scott Pruitt won’t do it. Our vital work is far from over. Sea level rise poses a real and immediate threat to many U.S. cities that are unprepared to adapt to the impacts of climate change. We need strong EPA leadership and funding now more than ever. These issues affect us all. Sign this petition urging the U.S. Senate to reject Pruitt’s nomination for EPA chief. Tell our elected officials to maintain strong EPA funding for programs that affect our Bays nationwide. Call your local senators directly in the next 24 hours to make sure your voice is heard.