About Heal the Bay

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About Heal the Bay

Post by Admin on Sat Oct 13, 2007 11:10 am

Well here is some information about what heal the bay do it is from there site:

Not so long ago, at a time when Santa Monica Bay was treated daily as a dump site, a small group of concerned people took it upon themselves to heal this troubled part of the world. They did it for those who simply wanted to swim, fish or surf safely in clean water. And they did it for the marine life that was suffering from some of the highest levels of contamination found anywhere along our nation's coastline.


Heal the Bay's efforts are focused on Santa Monica Bay and surrounding Southern California coastal waters. Our work, however, often impacts water quality for the entire state of California and even the nation.



That small group swelled into an organization and movement that has done more to recover the Bay's coastal environment than anyone could have expected. But in the process, they did more than that. They showed us that it's not too late for Southern California, that no agency is too big to fight and win, that we can heal our environment and that we can heal our Bay.

The First Fight
It was 1985, and a handful of people learned that the City of Los Angeles was dumping barely treated sewage into Santa Monica Bay. They learned that the pollution from sewage and storm drains had led to a decrease in the number and quality of fish in the Bay, dolphins that had reproductive problems and were full of tumors, a large patch of the bottom of the Bay was essentially lifeless, and people who swam and surfed in the Bay complained about infections and other illnesses. This handful of people, led by founder Dorothy Green, got angry and they got organized. Heal the Bay was born.

At this time, the City of L.A.'s Hyperion Sewage Treatment Plant was a disaster, breaking the law on several counts, and dumping barely treated sewage and sewage sludge into Santa Monica Bay. Heal the Bay attacked on many fronts. We signed up members at tables along the coast and sold t-shirts at Venice Beach. We held rallies at the beach and got the media to inform the public of what was happening. We packed hearing rooms and testified before regulatory agencies. And we joined the Environmental Protection Agency lawsuit already pending against the City of L.A.

The First Victory
Because of these actions, the City consented to comply with the Clean Water Act. Plans were developed to totally rebuild Hyperion to provide full secondary treatment by December 31, 1998, and replace a major sewer line that was regularly causing raw sewage overflows into Ballona Creek. We were granted Friends of the Court status in this consent decree and met quarterly with the City to ensure their compliance with the agreement.


The Bay is getting better...and with your help, the goal of a year-round swimmable and fishable Santa Monica Bay can be a reality!



Since that 1985 decision, Hyperion has become a world-class treatment facility. Sludge stopped flowing into the Bay in November 1987, and Hyperion met their rebuilding deadline one month ahead of schedule to provide full secondary treatment. As a result of improved sewage treatment at Hyperion, we have been overjoyed to see the return of plant and animal life to previous "dead" zones in the Bay.

Our first big victory taught us a crucial thing: that a small group of people can change their world, can literally "fight city hall" and win. We also learned that most problems can be solved without bringing them into the courtroom, and that most agencies respond much better to offers of help than to threats of lawsuits.

Not so long ago, the Bay was a different place. In a short time, Heal the Bay has made it better. Our greatest hope is that we will continue our amazing progress through our second decade as we continue to fight for workable solutions to the problems threatening Santa Monica Bay and all of Southern California's coastal waters.

We are halfway to healing the Bay, and we don't intend to stop now!

Admin
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