Saturday I was able to have a booth at the LA Water Keeper event at Paradise Cove, Malibu The Annual Stand Up for Clean Water event is awesome as professional athletes along with weekend racers come out and paddle to raise awareness for clean water in Los Angeles county. Due to some strong winds the first race was cancelled half way thru and the beach party started a little earlier. But the wind dies down and the relay and kid events still got to go on in the afternoon. Robert Kennedy Jr. and his wife Cheryl Hines were there to discuss the history and importance of the work that each and every person needs to continue doing to ensure that we keep our watersheds clean.
Thru my WRPI/USDA grant I will be testing fresh water sources for microplastics, that flow to the ocean. Ventura River, Perkins Estuary, Santa Clara River and Calleguas Creek will be the 4 main water sheds for testing at the river mouth into the ocean. I am testing the soil as well as the water for the presence and abundance of microplastics. Then I will be testing the watershed at its point source of pollution, which are the sewer treatment facilities that drain directly into 3/4 of these water sheds.
Threatened Western Snowy plovers and Endangered California Least Terns nest at the mouths of all of these water sheds as well as many other migrating water fowl. I will be working with the Nest Monitor at Ormond beach where Perkins Estuary is located to possibly check hatched eggs for toxins as well.
I also have fresh water soil samples from watersheds in the Santa Monica Mountains that are not point source fed and have found micro plastics. I am curious to see what the difference in abundance and types of particles we find in these different water sheds. Hopefully with this information we can work on more policy change and infrastructure changes to the way we pollute our watersheds with plastic particles.