Today’s special guests on the Born To Talk Radio Show Podcast represented The Ballona Creek Renaissance, BCR. They include volunteers, Deborah Gregory, President, and Sandrine Cassidy, Vice President.
Ballona Creek Renaissance (BCR) is a 501c3 that’s been around for over 25 years. Originally, started by artists and activists who said that the creek looked even worse than it currently does – in fact people thought it was a waste stream! There are 10 active board members and 15 advisory board members strong. Their focus is to clean, green, and educate the residents of the watershed of the Ballona Creek. As an example, they offer public and private clean up events. They have participated in or led several native plant garden efforts or invasive plant removal. Along with that they also offer educational talks in schools and lead tours of the creek. Now they are pushing for policymaking.
What’s Happening at BCR?
Improvements have been made in the last decades and there is so much more to do. Beautification has been a key part of what they have done with murals, decorative gates, and safer recreational pathways. People are encouraged to enjoy the active bike path.
It’s so inspiring to hear how the Culver City BCR is one of the most popular clubs at the High School. Many of the past presidents have gone onto choose environmental majors and they continue to attend and help in BCR meetings. The creek has a real community watching for it. Another project could be to add an Adopt a Creek program along the creek, with more cool/permeable pavements, star path glow in the dark pavement, and enhancing the native gardens.
Pollution is huge. It comes from 130 square miles of the city, which for now, runs down to the Ocean. Policies are not being implemented as quickly as the problem grows. There needs to be a real culture shift, where it would be practical, logical, and natural to do their part to protect nature. BCR is fighting the disposable world, the world of convenience, and the strong plastic industry. It won’t be easy for people to change their habits and needs to go hand in hand with a strong policy. It is possible. Education is important but it does not solely solve the issues…
The Interceptor is arriving next fall. It’s a floating barge that will capture the trash before it hits the ocean. Some of their trash concerns will be mitigated, but we all need to continue to be educated to appreciate the creek and all that it offers.
Get Involved and Make a Difference.
BCR is currently in search of people with plant knowledge and interest. They are also in search of people with a legal background.
For residents, it’s about looking at what bothers you and making small changes, including the advice of steering away from plastics altogether. That’s a good start.
Advice from Deb. “When it’s about to rain, in addition to dancing in the streets in joy, make an effort to pick up a 5-gallon bucket of trash – and you will know you’ve done a favor to the ocean.” Download the app CLEAN SWELL and record your numbers through BCR. You will feel so good knowing that the small 15 minutes of effort will make a huge difference in aquatic animals’ life!
Advice from Sandrine. Find a system to remember your reusable bags, going out with your own utensils and water bottle, simply take them with you, it’s easy to put them in your bag every day. She has switched from plastic trash bags to paper bags made with 100% recycled content. She started shopping more at the farmer’s market to avoid all the plastic packaging or ordering boxed vegetables delivered to her house. Choose bulk rather than individual packaging, choose green cleaning products for a healthier environment. “Caring for the earth doesn’t cost money it saves money!”
Here are the 8 R’s of how to handle your trash impact:
RETHINK, REFUSE, REDUCE, REUSE, REPAIR, REGIFT, RECOVER, and last one is always…RECYCLE!