About the Bay

The Santa Monica Bay is the centerpiece of Los Angeles’ beach culture, and the geographic center of the LA region.  Stretching from Malibu to Palos Verdes, the bay is where millions of Angelenos relax and work. Because of their economic, ecological and recreational value, our waterways and the ocean are critical resources worth protecting. 

  • Santa Monica Bay beaches average 45 million visits per year
  • The Bay generates more than $1 billion in visitor spending annually.
  • Tourism accounts for more than 500,000 jobs in the greater L.A. area

The population of Los Angeles has skyrocketed in the past 100 years, and it's putting a lot of pressure on our environment. In the mid 1980s, improperly treated sewage led to dead zones in the Bay and harmful water quality. Thanks to the efforts of Heal the Bay and its supporters, the EPA mandated stricter sewage treatment processes, resulting in greatly improved water quality.

Despite the amazing gains, your Bay faces ongoing challenges, from marine debris to overfishing. Our ocean faces many challenges, and Heal the Bay works every day on a number of different issues. By addressing the many facets of ocean pollution, we make real and positive change possible.  Many of these initiatives are made possible through reasonable legislation and regulations. Visit our Action Alert page to see how you can support that legislation and help make a difference.  You can also review a list of our recent legislation.

Here at Heal the Bay, we’re still floating, buoyed by the knowledge that the city of Los Angeles has taken another step toward sustainability by banning single-use plastic bags. But we have to admit that the victory was made even sweeter, thanks to…
Heal the Bay ice cream truck
In the same week that the federal government declined to protect the great white shark, California’s ban on shark fin sales and possession went into effect.
shark fin ban white endangered California National Marine Fisheries
Many members of Heal the Bay staff were saddened by the death at age 84 of Bob Meistrell, waterman and wet suit revolutionary. A few of us share reflections on his life:
Bob Meistrell RIP Body Glove SCUBA dive South Bay Los Angeles waterman wet suit
Of all of the things I thought I would do in this job, going to South Korea never crossed my mind. But three shots in the arm, several orientation meetings, and a pretty solid syllabus down, I’m one week out from joining with 150 students from the …
Korea Pacific American Volunteer Association water eco system environmental
Heal the Bay headed to the South Bay last weekend to soak up some love in Manhattan Beach. First we cleaned the beach with 75 volunteers (including friends from Target and Mattel), netting 87 pounds of trash and enough cigarette butts to measure…
Target Mattel Simmzy's Adventure Voyaging Coastal Cleanup Day REI
We did it! After six years of hard work and diligence, Los Angeles is officially the largest city in the nation to ban single-use plastic grocery bags. The overwhelming response has been one of excitement, but we realize there are some Angelenos who …
Los Angeles Single-Use Plastic Bag Ban Frequently Asked Questions FAQ Dog poop
As a special thank you to our dedicated members, Heal the Bay is kicking off the summer with a couple of invite-only events, open exclusively to our current donors.
exclusive members only event MPA tidepool malibu palos verdes Golden Road IPA
Most surfers know Bay Street beach for its easily-accessible, often fun waves. But on June 1 we’ll be celebrating more than just a sweet surf spot. We’ll be honoring the memory of Nick Gabaldon, an ocean pioneer, the first documented surfer …
Bay Street Santa Monica surf spot Nick Gabaldon Southern California
Seven years ago, Heal the Bay eliminated single use plastic water bottles from our events in an effort to not generate as much waste or trash as we were picking up at our cleanups.
zero waste beach clean up BYOB trash reduction marine debris waste
Compton Creek runs 8.5 miles through the neighborhoods of South Los Angeles, traversing its last 2.5 miles as one of the few remaining natural bottomed urban waterways in the area. The creek contains water (and trash) that flows from just below Expos…
Compton Creek education TreePeople Rails to Trails Eastside LA River
Syndicate content