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Heal The Ocean

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Environment, Natural Resources Conservation & Protection

Mission: Heal the ocean focuses on wastewater infrastructure - sewers and septic systems forwhich we hire consultants to access state grant funds to help wwtps upgrade torecycled water production instead of ocean dumping, as well as help whole communities abandon septic systems in environmentally sensitive areas.

Programs: Heal the ocean hires engineers, experts, researchers and scientists, lawyers, gis mappers and university laboratories to produce reports and to give us test results as well as blueprints for wwtps. We have facilitated state grants for wastewater facilities to upgrade to recycled water. We perform cost feasibility studies for upgraded wastewater management methods. We have conducted dna tests in watersheds and now coordinate with university (bren school) microbiology labs. We work with city, county and state agencies to initiate new programs of wastewater upgrade. Our approach to solving environmental problems is unique in that we work with (not against) counties, cities, agencies, wastewater and water districts to move forward with more sophisticated technology. We advocate for rate increases where needed, and also access state funds to help upgrade wastewater infrastructure and/or help homeowners to convert from septic systems to public wastewater systems. We have served on the santa barbara county integrated regional water management plan (irwm) steering committee since 2010, and in this capacity have successfully advocated for projects that lead to wastewater treatment plant upgrade. I. Septic systems:1)in 2017 heal the ocean began efforts to pull in the last 3 septic systems holdouts who have not connected to the public sewer built as part of the south coast beach communities septic to sewer project, which, when finished on sept. 4, 2014, resulted in 7 miles of beach (172 homes) being rid of septic systems in areas of sand and high groundwater. The 3 parcels are on the ventura county side of the rincon, so heal the ocean is working with heal the bay, santa monica, in effecting notices of violation from the los angeles regional board (region 1) which has jurisdiction over water bodies in ventura. 2)beach club road is an enclave of 28 homes within the boundaries of the south coast beach communities septic-to-sewer project, located on the ocean and in a creek area with high groundwater. Those homeowners pulled back from the bigger project with legal fights broke out, but were still included in the environmental review process, and as such, are still covered by ceqa if they were to hook up to the public sewer system. In 2017 heal the ocean began a questionnaire process within the community, and gradually the number of homeowners is swinging toward a majority. Heal the ocean is working to set up informational meetings with the carpinteria sanitary district, which will take place in 2018. 3)santa ynez horizon/stadium septic-to-sewer project. In 2017 heal the ocean hired dudek environmental to submit a project proposal to the state for a low-interesting revolving loan to help pay for a $6 million septic-to-sewer project for 450+ homes overlying a groundwater basin used for drinking water. Heal the ocean is collaborating with the sycsd to get this funding help. Ii. Upgrading wastewater to recycled water:in 2017 heal the ocean continued educating, advocating and facilitating the advancement of turning waste(d) water into recycled water. When proposition 1 funding became available for facilities plnning grants to convert wwtps to recycled water plants, we approached the following water/wastewater districts to participate:a) goleta potable reuse facilities plan: heal the ocean helped establish a partnership between goleta water district (gwd), goleta sanitary district to work with rmc water & environment, santa monica, to develope a grant application for a potable reuse facilities plan. The draft plan was finished in may 2017, went through public review in june. When completed, the project will add 2,000 acre feet per year of "drought-proof" water supply to goleta. B) santa ynez recycled water facilities plan: heal the ocean also brought rmc water to the santa ynez community services district (sycsd) to help the district submit an application for a facilities planning grant for a recycled weater facility. The plan was finished in february 2017 and has been approved by the state water resources control board. C) city of santa barbara appealed to heal the ocean in 2017 for help with education of both public and city council on the concept of "one water" - a plan to upgrade its recycled water plant to highest processing level, pipe to lauro reservoir to be mixed with state water and cachuma water, then the one-water mix be treated in the decatur water treatment plant for distribution throughout the city. In 2017 heal the ocean approached the city water commission with a plan to rename the el estero wastewater plant with a name like city of santa barbara water resources facility. D)brine waste. In 2017 heal the ocean published a white paper on brine waste ("issues, disposal, and reduction") which lays out the biggest problem of 100% recycling - the leftover sludge from sealination and water recycling. The brine waste paper presents information on how brine waste is created and the problems of dispocal, and also tells how homeowners can do their part to reduce brine (don't use water softeners, which add tons of chloride salts to the wastewater stream). Iii. Groundwater. A)groundwater characterization project: on january 26, 2017, the central coast regional water quality control board adopted a resolution for "the human right to water," a program that directs its staff to assist the state water board and relevant stakeholders to collect data to identify and track communities that do not have, or are at risk of not having, safe, clean affordable, and accessible water adequate for human use. In april 2017 heal the ocean hired cal poly student riley haas to work with the rregional board, at regional board offices in san luis obispo, on a groundwater characterization project that is identifying and evaluating shallow grounndwater quality data in santa barbara county in order to assess pollution sources - including influence of septic system and other source loadings (e. G. Municipal wastewater, agriculture, etc. ). Ms. Haas's work started with gathering of existing groundwater studies and water well data from priority basins such as santa ynez river valley, santa rita, lompoc plain, lompoc upland, lompoc terrace, careaga sand highlands, goleta basin, santa barbara basin, carpinteria basin, and montecito basin. The study is expected to be completed by july 2018. B)contaminated groundwater cleanup - city of santa barbara. Heal the ocean collaborates with santa barbara county environmental health services site mitigration unit (smu) to tackle the contaminated groundwater problem beneath the city of santa barbara. In april 2017 we received the (wonderful! ) news from smu about the former agrichip facility at the corner of garden street and the 101 freeway - an order for cleanup. Smu ordered a work plan to clean up the site, including soil borings and soil vapor probes, and an assessment of the laguna channel for soil, sediment and surface water quality. Field work started june 2017. Heal the ocean has been chasing the agrichip site for nearly 20 years, and its cleanup represents a long-sought victory. Iv. Oil pollution (ocean dumping)a)becker well. In 2017 heal the ocean started working on oil pollution problems - specifically theabandoned oil wells that are leaking onto summerland beach. We successfully collaborated withthe state lands commission to get $1. 5 million in the state fy2017 and fy2018 budget to fund the capping of the notorious becker well that had been oozing onto the sand and fouling the ocean from summerland to montecito. (the becker well-capping project was completed in february 2018. )b)other leaking wells off summerland. At the same time heal the ocean was working to get the becker well funds into the state budget, we hired planck aerosystems, goleta (through aqueos offshore) to conduct a sophisticated aerial survey of wells offshore summerland. The project consisted of 4 months of steady drone work, which produced a distinct map of exact (leaking) well locations. As a result of the planck study, governor jerry brown signed ab 44 - which will budget $2 million per year to cap abandoned, leaking oil wells along the california coast. Heal the ocean will next work with state lands commission to cap the summerland well called "rock pile. "v. Beach cleanups:heal the ocean runs a voluntary beach cleanup program, wherein students can sign up for a beach to clean, under supervision of their teachers, receive a free heal the ocean t-shirt, then clean a beach and report to us what they pick up. These reports are published in heal the ocean newsletters and e-letters. In 2017 heal the ocean collaborated for the 2nd year in a row with ef international language school in a massive cleanup of 10 beaches between goleta and summerland. The entire student body (350 beach cleaners) tackled the project on april 28, 2017, as part of ef international's every day is earth day campaign.

Community Stories

15 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

2

Donor

Rating: 5

Giving to Heal the Ocean is an incredibly rewarding experience. Our family is impressed with the impact and leverage our contribution makes. Dollars turn into action. Under the leadership and vision of Hillary Hauser, Heal the Ocean has shaped legislation that will change polluting practices. Heal the Ocean articulates a clear and precise plan for how we should THINK and ACT towards the ocean. The members of the Heal the Ocean community help us express how we FEEL about a beautiful day at the beach. This is a winning organization.

Review from Guidestar

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

As someone who has served as Executive Director of another successful non-profit it has been extremely gratifying to be a member of this organization. The focus is clear and the follow through unrelenting in the effort to, as the name implies, Heal the Ocean in myriad ways necessary to achieve this goal. The cause will endure well past the current endeavors so whatever we accomplish today must continue on into the future. I encourage everyone to become a part of this organization in whatever way possible.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Working in the office, I found Heal the Ocean to be dedicated, committed and passionate about the cause of ending ocean pollution. The philosophy of Heal the Ocean as quoted from their website "it's simple: The ocean can no longer be used as a dump. Heal the Ocean is committed to ending ocean pollution." is practiced everyday. It is a personal highlight of my life to be associated with this organization making a huge difference to the ocean I love.

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Many thanks to Heal the Ocean. I enjoyed working with them and their consultant. I am pleased that their particular experience and expertise were useful to our effective and on-going management of onsite wastewater treatment systems (OWTS) or septic systems in the City of Los Angeles. Our collective efforts is expected to result in a successful grant process leading to the upgrading of antiquated wastewater systems within the City of Los Angeles or their connection to public sewers. I am grateful for their partnership support in this effort. I commend Heal-the-Ocean for making the effort to encourage us in this very important project for the community.

Review from Guidestar

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Through cutting edge research and science-based advocacy, Heal the Ocean has made significant strides in improving ocean water quality. From major projects involving septic-to-sewer conversions and hazardous waste contamination to weekend beach clean-ups, the dedicated Heal the Ocean staff and volunteers never take their eye off the ball. They are thoughful, smart, committed and, most importantly, effective. Heal the Ocean gets results!

Review from Guidestar

1

Donor

Rating: 5

Heal the Ocean is making a significant difference in cleaning up the ocean in Santa Barbara County. It is very well managed and maintains its focus on reducing polution in the ocean. The organization gets projects done as witnessed by the Carpenteria area beach front sewer project.

Review from Guidestar

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Heal the Ocean is an organization that is focused on measurable, positive results. As the manager of a public wastewater agency, I greatly appreciate their commitment to clean water and their recognition that we are all working hard together to acheive the same objective. Instead of filing unnecessary lawsuits, HTO is focused on collaborative change - finding grant funds, sponsoring legislation, performing technical studies, and doing actual work to protect the environment. Hillary Hauser is a dynamo and her dedication and intensity are making a real difference in water quality in this area. Keep up the great work. Craig Murray, P.E. - General Manager, Carpinteria Sanitary District.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 4

I'm a surfer. I like to surf at Rincon. Yhe reason we will soon have a sewer pipe at Rincon instead of septic systems that drain to the ocean is because Heal the Ocean has fought for us to get it done. If it wasn't for HTO the gov't would still be dithering and delaying getting it done.They are also going after a real plan for storm water run-off. If we wait for the gov't to get it done that's what we'll do:wait. HTO is grass roots and cares what goes into the ocean. If you care what goes in the ocean support HTO.

Review from Guidestar

1 Harry5

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

You couldn't ask for a better organization that goes to the front line on behalf of the people in it's community! HTO doesn't just complain and bring awareness regarding a potentially health threatening situation, they go far beyond that by offering expert advice on how to correct the problems and preserve the health of our beaches and ocean. They are a top notch WORLD recognized organization and deserve the highest level of support! HTO sets the bar and serves as a role model for similar non-profits all across our country.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I manage several beach communities in Carpinteria, California (63 beach homes) who were operating on septic systems for many years. With HTO knowledge and water testing studies we were able to inform and convince our communities to convert to sewer treatment. Heal the Ocean was instrumental in working with local water municipalities in assisting us with the formation of a Sewer Assessment District, obtaining State bond financing, working through litigation and completing the installation from antiquated septic systems to a State of the Art low flow gravity feed ejection system that we can all be very proud of. Without their knowledge, assistance, involvement and support, I am sure we would still be in the planning stages. We owe HTO and Hillary Hauser a great deal of gratitude for their support and dedication to maintaining water quality for future generations. I wholly support all HTO does in identifying water quality problems and recommendations for improvements to our most important resouce. Joseph P. Kennedy, EA

1 Penelope B.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This is the most dedicated, passionate and effective non-profit I know of!The volunteers are committed to prevent more destruction to our beautiful ocean; as well as to "fix" the destructive things that can be! (for example septic systems near the shore; and pesticide pollution to name two!)

Review from Guidestar

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Heal the Ocean is a driving force in coastal environment education and action, from changing the way we treat our sewage to helping support other non-profits like our owe with general public education and youth sponsored beach clean-up. The HTO staff have the passion, commitment and knowledge to continue to improve our coast and keep our water clean and safe for humans and marine life. Great work Heal the Ocean. Earl Richmond, Our World of Oceans, Founder

Advisor

Rating: 5

Heal the Ocean is a terrific non-profit that is changing the way we treat and think about the ocean. "The ocean can no longer be used as a dump!"is their motto. Septic systems in shallow ground water along the beaches and creeks have been replaced by new sewer systems locally. In doing so Heal the Ocean has shaped policy in the State of California regarding ground water and septic systems. Heal the ocean works to help City's and County's identify contaminated ground water that needs treatment. Heal the Ocean works with sewage treatment plant operators to help them upgrade their plants and begin wastewater recycling projects so that water used in sewage treatment avoids entering the ocean and can be reused as a new resource. Since 1998, when they funded DNA studeis to test for human fecal coliform at the Rincon, Heal the Ocean has undertaken cutting edge scientific studies to identify sources of pollution. Heal the Ocean continues to help protect the health of the ocean and the life within it. Including us humans.

Review from Guidestar

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Heal the Ocean has led the way for the protection of our ocean for a long time. With Hillary Hauser at the helm, H.T.O. has been instrumental in safe-guarding this valuable resource for all. They have brought forward an amazing amount of information that the majority of the public was not aware of. In doing so, intelligent decision making processes have been made on local and statewide policies,...further strengthening the 'protection of this most critical resource'.

Review from Guidestar

Donor

Rating: 5

Heal the Ocean is doing exactly that -"healing the ocean". They have become a wonderful voice to all those who enjoy our beautiful oceans by drawing attention to the many ways we can help heal the water. Starting with a major household septic system to sewer project at the world famous Rincon surf break, they have become the "go to" organization for identifying sources of pollution going into our water and how to mitigate these pollution problems. They have worked with many governmental agencies on why they need to upgrade sewage treatment plants and then help find grants to finance these upgrades. Heal the Ocean's library of scientific tests, observations and expert testimony in cases involving ocean pollution are used by many agencies to focus on pollution sources and ways to mitigate these problems. We all are benefiting from the work they have done and are doing. The ocean can no longer just be a dump for all our waste and Heal the Ocean is doing the work to make us all become aware of how clean our oceans can and should be. Thank you Heal the Ocean.

Review from Guidestar