"Community Gardening is a blueprint for a healthier soil, soul and sea"
A long time environmentalist, by the 1990's, Captain Charlies Moore became progressively dismayed by the increasing pollution in waters surrounding his home town, Long Beach, California. In 1994, he founded Long Beach Organic, Inc. (LBO), applying to the Secretary of State for non-profit status for both LBO and Algalita Marine Research Foundation. Algalita's mission focused on waste water remediaton and kelp forest restoration in the coastal waters of California. Water pollution created by run-off from hard urban surfaces can be remediated by softened soils in planted land, acting as a run-off cleansing sponge, Moore also added studying the effects of run-off to the ocean to Algalita's goals.
LBO's purpose was to address ocean pollution by reducing run-off from land. While the organization today is mostly associated with organic community gardens, its original conception was part of a much broader vision. It's initial project was to found a garden in the downtown area. First Elm Garden, on private landowner Helen Woo's's property, continues to be a vibrant community garden. Next, we worked with property owners on Signal Hill to bio-remediate the oil-tarnished soils with mulching. As the soil healed, LBO partnered with the Cambodian Health Project related to public health issues. The immigrant community suffered ill health from lack of exercise and proper nutrition.
A second urban garden was created and eventually over 50 Cambodian families farmed plots. This was followed by a tiny garden at Pacific Avenue and 6th Street, which is still a vital LBO urban garden today. While he no longer participates in the day-to-day operations, Captain Charlie continues to provide advice and support as our Founder.