Byline: The Log Staff
ALAMITOS BAY — Los Cerritos Wetlands Stewards have recently installed new hydrocarbon-absorbing foam barriers in Alamitos Bay near the AES Power Plant that the organization said will provide “unmanned cleanup” of oil-polluted runoff and increased efficiency in trash cleanup.
When the booms are rotated and replaced, 97 percent of collected oil can be removed from Long Beach waters, extracted from the foam barrier and recycled for reuse, the organization said.
The new technology is being provided through a partnership between Los Cerritos Wetlands advocate Lenny Arkinstall, the community organization Los Cerritos Wetlands Stewards and a Southern California “green-technology” company, Advanced Innovative Recovery Technologies Inc. (AIR TECH).
Arkinstall said that in 1994, he made it his personal goal to completely clean Long Beach’s Los Cerritos Wetlands.
“Driving down Seventh 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. “And when it rains? You can see the oil runoff coming from the L.A. River into the bay.”
Arkinstall said the partnership created for the cleanup project is the first of its kind in the state of California for the use of new oil-absorption products that were introduced to commercial and environmental market earlier this year. The partnership was endorsed by Congressman Dana Rohrabacher, Long Beach City Councilman Patrick O’Donnell and Lake Forest Mayor Pro Tem Scott Voigts, Arkinstall said.
“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.”
A third-party report from S&N Labs that analyzed a segment of the foam boom placed in the Los Cerritos Wetlands stated that significant amounts of hydrocarbons, semi-volatile silicones and petroleum oil had been removed by the boom.
With two foam booms now deployed in Channels 1 and 2 in Alamitos Bay, Arkinstall said he is looking for other locations in Long Beach to install booms, to help keep waterways free of oil and debris.
Advanced Innovative Recovery Technologies Inc. was created in 2010, in response to British Petroleum’s Gulf of Mexico oil spill. Its Smart Foam is used for multiple sustainable cleaning products, including Smart Foam Booms and Smart Foam Oil Absorption pads.