JUNE 2021
Marc My Words: A Grim Future for California
A Letter from the Breathe Southern California President & CEO
Greetings!

I could not be more excited for summer! After being stuck at home for the past 18 months, my family is itching to get outside and soak in the SoCal sun! We have already packed up our beach bags and visited new hiking spots.
I feel lucky to be able to enjoy the summer in a region that is known for its excellent weather. Yet, as climate change worsens, I am worried about Southern California’s climate future. California summers have warmed by 2.5° since the 1970's and are on track to rise 4.5° more by the end of the century. In large urban cities, these rising temperatures can exasperate a phenomenon known as urban heat island effect.
Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech
An urban heat island is defined as a large city that experiences hotter than usual temperatures because it has more human-made features like roads and buildings that absorb and retain heat from the sun. Warm temperature weather also traps air pollution in the lower atmosphere in a phenomenon known as stagnation. Stagnation is when air particulates and ground-level ozone (what we commonly call smog) get trapped in pockets of hot air. This happens in many urban heat islands because of their hotter than usual temperatures and creates more days with bad air quality, causing health problems such as more frequent asthma attacks. 
We can reduce the amount of heat that is absorbed in urban cities by utilizing a number of strategies such as smartly increasing vegetative cover and using cool building materials and pavement. Read on to learn about what you can do to reduce urban heat islands in your own backyard. 

For additional environmental education resources, visit www.breathesocal.org and follow us on social media @BreatheSoCal, and me @mcarrel.
 
In Health,
Marc Carrel 
President & CEO
Fight the Heat with a ‘Cooling Garden’
Learn how to fight the urban heat island effect in your own backyard with an urban heat garden! Not only does this strategy fight rising temperatures, but it can also reduce stormwater runoff and protect against erosion. Here are five tips to plant an urban heat garden:
2. Plant more trees
Trees use transpiration to lower their temperatures and provide shade to surrounding areas. Neighborhoods with well-shaded streets can be 6 to 10 degrees cooler than neighborhoods without street trees.

1. Choose the right location
Plant tall deciduous trees or install trellises for shrubs and vines on the west side of your house and over paved areas like patios and sidewalks to maximize shade.
3. Plant along walls
Plant bushes, shrubs, or vines to shade windows and walls.

4. Carefully select plants
Check out the Select Tree database to research what trees are best suited for your ‘cooling garden.’

5. Install a green roof
Plant a vegetated layer on your rooftop to add shade, remove heat from the air, and reduce temperatures.
Coming Up This Summer!
Lung Power™ Virtual Workshops
Do you or your child have asthma?
 
Consider joining one of our FREE, live, Lung Power workshops to learn more about asthma triggers, health implications, and ways to support you and your child.
Giving back to our 🌍
This summer, Breathe SoCal is launching Blue Sky LA, a program providing unique volunteer opportunities for LA County residents, community, and corporate members to reduce air pollution and encourage environmental sustainability. 
 
Learn more about how you, your friends, your family, and your colleagues can volunteer!
@BreatheSoCal is On TikTok!
You can now incorporate clean air and lung health education into your every day by following @BreatheSoCal on TikTok!
@breathesocal • 4-12
5 reasons to drive an electric vehichle! #CarTok
@breathesocal • 5-27
New SoCal fashion statement. #FashionWeek
@breathesocal • 5-9
How to use an inhaler with a spacer. #Asthma
Give the Gift of Environmental Education 
Breathe SoCal is looking for individuals or companies to adopt our various programs, such as O₂4U®, our youth environmental education program. Adopting this program will supply 8 to 14 year-olds at 91 school sites across SoCal with timely environmental education, empowering each student with the tools to improve their indoor and outdoor environments, manage lung health risks, and prevent asthma.  
 
Every dollar raised through an Adopt-A-Program Sponsorship will directly fund a youth, senior, family, or advocacy program aimed at helping individuals living with lung disease or improving poor air quality in our region.