On September 20, Culver City’s own Ballona Creek Renaissance was honored with a 2017 SEED Award for Pollution Prevention by the South Bay Business Environmental Coalition. This 10th annual awards event at Los Angeles World Airports’ Flight Path Museum and Learning Center recognized the accomplishments of local businesses, individuals, and organizations that are making significant and noticeable efforts to reduce their environmental footprint and that of the communities they serve.
As BCR’s primary accomplishment in 2016-17, BCR initiated and advocated for a detailed proposal to the City of Culver City, which resulted in the adoption of a strong polystyrene foodware ban. As BCR volunteers experienced first-hand in frequent Ballona Creek cleanups, harmful polystyrene has been the most predominant form of plastic litter flowing out to the ocean from the creek’s 130-sq.mi. multi-city watershed via a vast network of storm drains.
“Culver City is very fortunate to have the BCR community group here to lead, mentor and help protect our precious waterway Ballona Creek and beyond to the ocean”, said Cathi Vargas, the city’s Public Works Environmental Coordinator. Other city staff joining Ms Vargas at the SEED Award celebration were Kim Braun, whose outstanding efforts helped secure the ultimately unanimous city council approval, and Julianne Zuccardi, who created the effective business outreach video. BCR team members present included PS Ban initiator Sandrine Cassidy Schmitt, Co-leader Deb Gregory, BCR President Amy Rosenstein, Culver City High School’s BCR Club leaders David Dumas and Spandan Chhetri; BCR Advisory Council members Shea Cunningham, Bobbi Gold and Jim Lamm; and South Bay Surfrider’s Craig Cadwallader. Unable to attend were BCR team members Blake Hottle, Irene Reingold, Mim Shapirio, and past BCR Club President Sullivan Barth, now in college.
BCR also appreciated the significant contributions of the entire Culver City council and staff; the Cities of Santa Monica and Manhattan Beach; many community members and students, and its approximately 20-member coalition, including Heal the Bay, Surfrider Foundation, The Bay Foundation, 5Gyres, Sierra Club, Grades of Green, Californians Against Waste, LA Waterkeeper, and the Culver High BCR Club.