New Cruise Tour Along L.A.'s Polluted Coast

Jay Bergesen, flickr

Tour operators in Los Angeles are cashing in on showing off the city's gritty side. First there was a bus tour through South Central's notorious gang territory, and now tourists can hop on a boat tour of the city's polluted coast.

The Los Angeles Times wrote about the Urban Ocean Boat Cruise yesterday, a new eco-tour that will meander through the murky, runoff-filled waters of the Long Beach Harbor. While aboard, passengers can ogle at landmarks like the city's ramshackle warehouses, dilapidated docks, corroded ship containers, and ocean-side oil rigs.

The two-and-a-half-hour eco-tour begins at Rainbow Harbor in Long Beach, and navigates past sites such as the man-made Terminal Island, home to a prison that once housed Charles Manson and Al Capone, as well as a Wastewater Treatment Plant. The boat will also idle past a rusting power plant and the crumbling Gerald Desmond Bridge, a structure that collects its own flaking chunks of concrete in nylon mesh "diapers" that hang below it, according to an earlier report by the Los Angeles Times from March 21st.

"Our customers are fascinated to see the contrast with the way it used to be," said Dan Salas, the founder of Harbor Breeze Cruises, the company that will offer the tour along with the Aquarium of the Pacific. Voyages are expected to begin Memorial Day weekend from the aquarium, at a cost of around $30 per person.

Although the tour aims to show the environmental effects of human activities such as trade, fishing and industry, there is no word on whether or not the proceeds will go toward cleaning up the area. Proceeds from the L.A. Gang Tour benefit gang members looking to find jobs.
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