Currently, the largest active effort to reduce harmful runoff entering the Pacific stands with the Santa Monica Urban Runoff Recycling Facility (SMURRF). This facility treats an average of 500,000 gallons of urban runoff that is diverted from the city’s two main storm drains to remove harmful pollutants such as trash, oil, sediment, and pathogens. The treated water is then recycled for safe secondary use in irrigation and dual-plumbed systems[1]. Instead of wasting water and letting it flow full of toxins to the ocean, SMURRF collects the waste water and turns it into a useable second hand product. It is with the Urban Runoff Facility, that the highly polluted dry-weather runoff flowing to the ocean is reduced by 95%, providing a lifeline to the Santa Monica coast and its inhabitants. Hopefully other coastal cities around the world will follow in Santa Monica’s footsteps and further mitigate runoff, through avenues like SMURFF, before it ever reaches their oceans.

[1] “Santa Monica Public Works – S.M.U.R.R.F,” Santa Monica Public Works: Civil Engineering, 2016