May 2018 E-Letter

In this E-Letter…

  • CEC Report - One Step Closer to Recycled Water
  • Santa Barbara Contaminated Sites Getting the Heave-Ho
  • Look Ma! Plastic Turns to Horse Feed for Beach Cleanups
  • A Big Barkout to HTO Dogs for Buying Bags


In our campaign to reduce waste(d)water flowing into the ocean, Heal the Ocean has been working on the recycled water issue for many years. A part of that work has been to get into the issue of Constituents of Emerging Concern (CECs) that are not removed by secondary wastewater treatment methods. CECs are pharmaceuticals, chemicals found in personal care products and other contaminants that wash down the drain. They must be removed from recycled water intended for human use. To tackle the CEC problem, the State Water Resources Control Board commissioned the Southern California Coastal Water Research Project (SCCWRP) in Costa Mesa, California, and in 2010 expert panels began meeting to wrestle with the CEC subject. HTO attended a number of these panel discussions in person and by webinar, and we read draft reports and made input both long and short. The final 178-page report, Monitoring Strategies for Constituents of Emerging Concern (CECs) in Recycled Water: Recommendations of a Science Advisory Panel was released May 10, 2018 and is now posted on Heal the Ocean’s website.



There has been a lot of action with shallow groundwater cleanup in the City of Santa Barbara!

Heal the Ocean has tackled contaminated groundwater sites since our inception, spending years identifying particular contaminants and going through old records of monitoring wells and soil borings. We collaborated with Santa Barbara County Hazmat and the Regional Water Quality Control Board Hazmat section to organize information into the State’s Geotracker database, which has made it possible for the Regional Board to methodically prioritize sites for cleanup. The cleanup orders continue to come in, HTO is copied on these orders, and we are gratified to see the fruition of our collaboration.  

Among the Santa Barbara addresses receiving orders for cleanup, or in the process of cleanup are (click the live link to read the Regional Board order):


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For our annual Earth Day beach cleanup with EF International Language School in April, Jack and Kim Johnson's Kokua Foundation directors suggested we use horse feed bags instead of plastic for our beach cleanups. EF Language School Volunteership Coordinator/Community Outreach director Susanne Heirling, Santa Barbara, jumped on the idea immediately and went to La Cumbre Feed to ask for bags, and bingo, away with plastic! The feed bags are about the size of a garbage bag but are made of sturdier material. La Cumbre Feed continues to supply - and we now have a huge supply. We distribute these bags to community members for cleanups and we now offer them to fellow environmental organizations in Santa Barbara, to share these bags with as many people and organizations as possible. If you or an organization you work with would like to pick up feed bags,please contact Alison Thompson at Heal the Ocean by calling (805) 965-7570, or email ( This isn't horse feed, it's the real deal!


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In early May, we heard from Aye'la, a long-time beach-loving pooch who has been supporting Heal the Ocean's Doggy Bag Program for years. She had another donation for us. We are grateful for Aye'la's help and for our dog bag dispenser sponsors as well as the many contributors who donate to our Doggy Bag Program. Just $60 buys 1,000 compostable bags (non-plastic!) - and your dog can donate in his or her name. Please send your furry donor's picture so we can post on our website. Please click here to get into the pack. Thank you!