Interceptor Could Prevent Trash from Entering the Ocean

A community nonprofit, Friends of the Jungle, has spearheaded the effort to clean Ballona Creek of trash.

Residents were appalled at the amount of trash entering the ocean and met with County Public Works in 2016, 2018 and 2019.

Now the County is slated to install a Ballona Creek Trash Interceptor Pilot Project with construction beginning this April, and operation starting in October.

All Los Angeles environmentalists and residents who are concerned about ocean pollution are invited to a Zoom virtual meeting on Wednesday, March 23, at 6 p.m. to learn about the project.

Lucy Han, the founder and president of Friends of the Jungle, said that the interceptor will be paid for by the manufacturer, The Ocean Cleanup, which currently has four interceptors deployed worldwide.

Ocean Cleanup, a nonprofit, was founded in 2013 by Dutch inventor Boyan Slat and is headquartered in the Netherlands. According to Slat, “Our aim is to have removed 90 percent of floating ocean plastic by 2040.”

Through research, Slat found that rivers are the main source of ocean plastic pollution, “about 1,000 rivers are responsible for roughly 80 percent of global annual emissions. . .with small urban rivers amongst the most polluting.”

It is estimated that trash in Ballona Creek typically amounts to more than 60,000 pounds each year.

Although the nonprofit will pay for the interceptor, the County must pay for moorings and maintenance.

The interceptor can capture trash as small as a water bottle cap size (.4” by .6”) and will be in place for two storm seasons (October to April).

“The world looks to L.A. as being the leader in environmental issues,” Han said, noting that this is the opportunity for Ocean Cleanup to work with Los Angeles.

County presentation: click here.

The Ocean Cleanup: click here.

How the Interceptor works:

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2 Responses to Interceptor Could Prevent Trash from Entering the Ocean

  1. Carla Danes says:

    I use plastic materials that my friends and I collect for me on our beach in Venice, LA, to make sculpture. I have boxes and boxes of plastic I clean and sort by color. This has been going on for over three years. We are all retired, and walk the beach every Tuesday and Friday. Some hula hoop and gossip in a circle. After, most boogie board together with our friendly lifeguards keeping an eye out from the main lifeguard station next to the beach.
    I can send you photos of my friends and some art and the ocean if you would like.

  2. Sue says:


    I would love to see some of the art made from found plastic.


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