>> New "Creeks to Coast" Project Takes Off




New Creeks to Coast Project Takes Off!

LAW's newest project, Creeks to Coast, integrates our inland and coastal water monitoringwork with the help of dedicated student volunteers. Creeks to Coast empowers Angelenos to steward our shared environment by providing tools, trainings, and hands-on opportunities for community members to experience our interconnected and highly-impacted waterways, and take related civic actions to improve their health.

Creeks to Coast students participate in both our River Assessment Fieldwork Team (RAFT) and our Marine Protected Area (MPA) Watch boat-based survey program, which includes fieldwork at different locations along the LA River, Ballona Creek, and on the Santa Monica Bay. So far, students from both Aspire Public School and Los Angeles Academy of Arts and Enterprise have participated in trainings and fieldwork, thus developing data collection skills regarding basic water chemistry measurements, trash assessments, plankton pulls, ecosystem health assessments, and fishing and boating activity observations. We look forward to helping students activate their collected data as part of their classroom and civic action projects!
Aspire High School students take water samples at Ballona Creek.NewLawsuit
Lawsuit Filed to Protect Health of CA Waters

Earth Law Center, Los Angeles Waterkeeper, and San Diego Coastkeeper filed a lawsuit on November 1st against the State Water Resources Control Board for its failure to meet key Clean Water Act and California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) requirements intended to protect the ecological health of waterways.

The Clean Water Act requires states to undertake a process every two years to list waterways that are "impaired" if pollutants impact water uses, such as for drinking, swimming, fishing, and habitat. Such listings then trigger the development of clean-­up plans. The Act also allows states to identify waterways as impaired due to low or altered flows that threaten a river's ability to support fish and other uses.

We are challenging the State Water Board's adoption of its merged 2014/2016 list of impaired waterways, which was approved three years after it was scheduled and with an inadequate process that largely left the public out of the decision-¬≠making. While the three environmental groups have many complaints, one primary concern is the State Water Board's failure to list any waterways as impaired due to altered flows.

LAW Supporters On The Water!
AT THE RIVER
On the 45th anniversary of the Clean Water Act (October 18), an enthusiastic group of volunteers from LAcarGUY met with LAW staff at Marsh Park to collect and analyze trash pollution along the Los Angeles River! The data collected will supplement our watershed health monitoring efforts, conducted largely by our volunteer River Assessment Fieldwork Team.
ON THE BAY
We had the chance to spend a sunny November day on the the LAW boat with our newest MPA Watch supporter, Kona Brewing Co! The Kona crew got hands-on experience with our boat-based MPA Watch survey protocol, seawater sampling, and plankton pulls around our local Marine Protected Areas.
RestoreBallona
Robust Restoration for Ballona Wetlands

Over a hundred activists and community members convened in Marina Del Rey on November 8th to share their thoughts for the future of the Ballona Wetlands, some of the last remaining wetlands in Southern California.
 
We joined with our partners in the Wetlands Restoration Principles Coalition to make our voices loud and clear: We want to see a robust restoration project that restores Ballona to a fully-functioning habitat!  
 
LAW advocated for a project that prioritizes nature-based solutions that connect with the larger Ballona Creek Watershed.
We are in favor of improving tidal circulation, removing concrete levees and reconnecting the creek with its historic floodplain. We also hope to see a plan that increases public access in harmony with nature-based restoration goals, and incorporates community involvement in the restoration process itself. 
 
The California Department of Fish & Wildlife (CDFW) and the US Army Corps of Engineers organized the public hearing to gather input on the draft Environmental Impact Report and Statement (EIR/EIS) for the wetlands, which was released in September. The EIR/EIS offers four alternative plans for restoring the wetlands, although the fourth option is no plan at all.
 
CDFW is accepting public comments on the EIR until February 5th. You can submit comments electronically or by mail ( instructions here), or sign on to support LAW's comment letter when it is released. Thanks
Thankful for your local Waterkeeper?
This #GivingTuesday, consider supporting Los Angeles Waterkeeper's efforts to keep LA County's inland and coastal waterways swimmable, fishable, and drinkable for all Angelenos.
Our River Assessment Fieldwork Team (RAFT) volunteers collect ecosystem health data at the LA River.
KingTides
Snap The Shore, See The Future...
California King Tides: December 3-5

King Tides, the highest tides of the year, offer us a glimpse of what our shorelines may look like in the future due to sea level rise. The California King Tides Projectinvites everyone to document the upcoming King Tides on December 3, 4, and 5, and share your images across social media. Will you join us?

Many spots along the LA coastline offer a dramatic look. We like to see how the shoreline in Malibu changes year to year. The ocean may breech at Topanga Creek, Malibu Lagoon, and Trancas Creek.

Be sure to tag @CA_king_tides & @LAWaterkeeper on Twitter and Instagram!
King Tides - January 2017 at Broad Beach