I couldn’t help but think of the film “Finding Nemo” as I walked into Naja’s on Kings Harbor yesterday. For one thing, I’m always thinking of “Finding Nemo.” To explain, I have a 2 year-old daughter who loves the movie and lately it feels like we are always either watching it or talking about it. Always. Yesterday was different however. It wasn’t about Nemo, or Marlin, or Bruce, Or Dory, or Crush et al(shoot me please). It was all about the white milky liquid that was diffusing out into the harbor , transforming my picturesque ocean view into the environmental equivalent of spilt milk, and by spilt milk I meant a chemical dump.
It was ugly in the harbor. The noontime crowd of yachties and tourists, rousted out of their midday malaise, were visibly upset to see what was happening to the normally picturesque waterway. The fear of unabated dispersal of whatever this chemical was palpable. Okay maybe not palpable but it was still concerning. Then, when things seemed darkest and hope was almost lost(roughly half an hour later give or take), help finally arrived. It was the city of Redondo Beach public works. And then the RB Fire department.And then the RBFD Harbor Patrol. And then department of Fish and Wildlife. And then the Coast Guard. Everybody got on site and did there jobs. Booms were dropped and pipes were cleaned. They all seemed to be working smoothly together. It was very confusing. Within, 2 hours, the crisis was averted and the problem dealt with. It great to watch . I later found out from an official on the scene that the cause of the spill was some moron decided to get rid of a couple gallons of paint by dumping it in the storm drain. They didn’t catch the person of course but luckily the paint was water soluble. Thanks to quick action by the appropriate agencies yesterday, a crisis of then unknown magnitude was averted. It could have been a lot worse.
I guess to bring it all back around it really does come down to Nemo and my 2 year-old daughter. The next time you see someone dumping something into the gutter or fertilizing a lawn and them over-watering it, remind yourself what Gill the Moorish Idol knew all too well.
To report illegal dumping/discharges, anywhere in Los Angeles County, into the storm drain system, call 1(888)CLEAN LA, 24 hours per day. For more information, visit the Stormwater Pollution Prevention Website, see the “Don’t Trash California” campaign, and get more information on keeping our neighborhoods, oceans, and local waterways clean.