When Canadian-born Dr. Shelley Luce arrived in Los Angeles to study environmental science at UCLA, she quickly learned that Angelinos’ water-using ways were both fascinating and alarming. That concern with water in greater LA led Dr. Luce to the Santa Monica Bay Restoration Commission, which monitors, assesses, coordinates and advises the activities of California’s state programs and oversees funding that affects the beneficial uses, restoration and enhancement of Santa Monica Bay and its watersheds. “We treat water as though it’s a linear thing,” Dr. Luce explains. “We take it from one place, we use it, we let it go down a drain, we hopefully clean it and then we flush it out to the ocean, never to be seen again. At the same time, we let our clean rainwater fall onto dirty surfaces, flow into storm drains and then out to the ocean, carrying with it contaminants. We can solve those problems by allowing our water cycle to function naturally. We need to make our city more permeable.”

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