Whole Life Magazine

April / May 2016

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Page 14 of 43

Photos: Courtesy The Bay Foundation T he Santa Monica Bay is such a source of joy and pleasure to many Angelenos, and we are fi - nally seeing progress in improved hab- itat conditions as a result of restoration efforts. It's a sad byproduct of our urban life that most habitats in most areas of the Bay and its watershed are degrad- ed to some degree. With a continuously growing population and signifi cant tour- ist traffi c, it would be nearly impossible for it to be otherwise. The State of the Bay Report, produced by the Santa Monica Bay National Estu- ary Program over fi ve-year periods, with the latest edition released this past Jan- uary, is a science-based assessment of the environmental conditions of the Bay and its watershed. There's good news and bad news, but we're just going to summarize the good. You can fi nd the bad at www.santamonicabay.org. • Aquatic plants in Malibu Lagoon and the Palos Verdes Kelp Forest show marked im- provements in ecosystem structure and function. This came about due to removal of non-native and over-abundant species, and planting of native species. • Swimmers and surfers will be thrilled to learn that levels of harmful bacteria on beaches in Santa Monica Bay have been greatly reduced during dry weather conditions due to municipalities' efforts to re- duce runoff and improve water quality. • The marine life is thrilled to learn that as a result of decades of monitoring, the soft-bottom habitat of the Bay is continuing to improve, with no dead zones, primarily due to reductions in DDT, PCB and mercury concentrations in the sediment. • Nobody is especially thrilled (though it is 1undeniably a good thing) that the quality of effl u- ent discharged from wastewater treatment plants in the Bay has improved steadily since the 1980s. In any event, there are still problems related to human population growth. Let's celebrate our progress and redouble our ef- forts. It takes a village to create a clean environment. By Abigail Lewis Got to admit it's getting better city of angels STATE OF THE BAY april/may 2016 15

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