New Technology Helps Keep Wetlands Waters Healthy

New foam barriers are absorbing oil, debris and litter in local tidal waters and elsewhere, thanks to a partnership by Los Cerritos Wetlands volunteers and an OC company.

New hydrocarbon-absorbing foam barriers are being used in Alamitos Bay in the Los Cerritos Wetlands and were demonstrated on the job this week.

The barriers were installed near the AES Power Plant that allows for cleanup of oil-polluted runoff and increased efficiency in waste cleanup, wetlands advocates say. Ninety-seven percent of collected oil can be removed from Long Beach waters, extracted from the barrier and recycled for reuse, once the booms are rotated and replaced.

Lenny Arkinstall of the Los Cerritos Wetlands Stewards, and a Southern California green-tech company, provided this new technology. This partnership for the use of revolutionary oil-absorption products is the first of its kind in California, both say.

"Driving down 7th street in Long Beach, you look at the curbs and all you see is more and more trash that ends up in our water,"Arkinstall said in a prepared statement. "And when it rains? You can see the oil runoff coming from the LA River into the bay."

The partnership is endorsed by Congressman Dana Rohrabacher of the 46th District, 4th District Long Beach City Councilman Patrick O’Donnell and Lake Forest Mayor Pro Tem Scott Voigts.

"This is an innovative solution and product, as well as a great partnership with the Los Cerritos Wetlands Stewards, " O’Donnell said. "I look forward to seeing the future applications for this product, as we strive to improve water quality and increase recreational opportunities."

Two foam booms are currently deployed in the channels and two are in Los Alamitos Bay. Arkinstall is seeking other oceanic locations in Long Beach that will help keep the water cleaner from litter, oil and debris.


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