play / 2015

The OCEAN is the best place to play in LA! But we must keep her clean!

Idea submitted in the My LA2050 Maker Challenge by Los Angeles Underwater Explorers; Ghost Fishing

At least once a month, we go to various shipwrecks and reefs that are covered in ghost nets, which will wreak havoc on fragile marine ecosystems for decades or even centuries if they are not removed. Los Angeles is FULL of people who scuba dive, surf, swim, snorkel, kayak, windsurf, etc.- we live near the ocean because we LOVE her! We also do a lot of outreach for adults and kids of all ages: lectures, presentations, tabling events to let everyone know what is happening in the ocean.


In what areas of Los Angeles will you be directly working?

  • City of Los Angeles
  • ANY school that will let us do a presentation, we will attend. For ocean cleanups: we are working mostly in the San Pedro Bay and off of Catalina.

How do you plan to use these resources to make change?

  • Engage residents and stakeholders
  • Expand a pilot or a program
  • Advocate with policymakers and leaders
  • We have already been in contact with lawmakers re: early reporting of lost nets. Legislation was introduced several years ago but was vetoed. We will try again, with a new Governor.

How will your proposal improve the following “Play” metrics?

  • Access to open space and park facilities
  • Number of children enrolled in afterschool programs

Describe in greater detail how you will make LA the best place to play.

This is a project that is already underway, but we need funding in order to sustain it. People move to California to be near the ocean, this is a precious resource that affects many lives. Abandoned commercial fishing nets pose multiple threats- not only to the underwater world, but for the people enjoying the ocean. Abandoned nets create navigational hazards to boaters, they damage fish stocks, they cause death and destruction which directly impacts the enjoyment of scuba divers and other people who come to the ocean to play.

Please explain how you will evaluate your work.

We have been keeping track of every single cleanup and every single outreach event, to approximate our impact on the community and of course on the ocean. I have an ongoing spread sheet on my computer that I keep “public,” it is available to anyone who wishes to see it. Regarding the ocean, it is fascinating to see the transformation of a killing field to a healthy, vibrant reef once the ghost nets are removed. Documenting every single cleanup dive with video and/or still photography is another way that we keep track of our progress and evaluate our impact.

How can the LA2050 community and other stakeholders help your proposal succeed?

  • Money (financial capital)
  • Volunteers/staff (human capital)
  • Publicity/awareness (social capital)
  • Community outreach
  • Network/relationship support