The City of Angels is synonymous with film, bright lights and glamour. But when it comes to its air quality, reports read more like a cautionary tale.
The American Lung Association’s 2015 State of the Air report has placed Los Angeles at the top of its list with the worst ozone pollution in the country for the last two years. At risk are residents living in high pollution areas that could suffer from lung cancer, asthma attacks, heart attacks and premature deaths. Primary pollutants – emission from cars, diesel trucks and buses, locomotives, ships and agricultural equipment. Other offenders, oil refineries, manufacturing plants, residential wood burning and wildfires.
Part of our solution to improve the air quality in downtown Los Angeles, involved a grant application that we submitted with help from the Koreatown Youth + Community Center. Together, we sought funding through the California Dept. of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire) of monies earmarked for urban forestry projects in California, and made possible through the cap-and-trade initiative.
(We have just learned that we were not awarded this particular grant. Our grant writing partners KYCC however were awarded funding- so we would like to take this opportunity to congratulate them! To see the full list of recipients click here.)
The cap and trade program is a critical component of the state’s larger plan to reduce GHG (greenhouse gas) pollution and transition to a clean energy economy under the Global Warming Solution Act of 2006 (AB 32). What this program does is set a ceiling of carbon dioxide emissions compelling businesses to pay for additional emissions by purchasing credits/allowances in quarterly auctions organized by the state.
In 2012, after pressure by advocacy groups, California passed SB 535 which requires 25 per cent of monies from said allowances to go to programs that provide benefits to disadvantaged communities, with 10 per cent to be spent on projects located directly within the communities.
Average tree canopy coverage for LA is 21% according to the research project done by Greg McPherson of the US Forest Service. Disadvantaged areas, such as our target zone- typically range from 5-10% coverage.
Breathing clean, healthy air shouldn’t be a privilege. Although we are disappointed we lost out on this particular opportunity, our commitment to our mission is stronger than ever. We want you to know we haven't lost sight of our goals but do need the financial support of like-minded people that care about cleaning up the air- and if you are reading this right now, you might very well be one of those people.
New Gold Medallion tree planted in partnership with KYCC on 7th @ San Julian St. in Skid Row