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.

You may have difficulty fulfilling your New Year’s resolution this week if it involves morning outdoor exercise, and your preferred location is the beach, especially if your go-to spot is typically narrow like Dan Blocker or Carbon Beach. Why, you …
California King Tides Carbon Beach 2013
On a recent Thursday, our four-person crew met to lead a water chemistry field trip—aka “Creek 101”— at Compton Creek. However, just as students arrived a dramatic downpour cancelled the field trip and left us to explore and contemplate other…
white-tailed kite compton creek habitat watershed Heal the Bay education
Green Santa and his eco-elves made a stop in historic Los Angeles distributing more than 1,000 reusable bags at Olvera Street and $1000 in Vons/Pavilions gift cards to families, tourists and holiday shoppers as part of Heal the Bay’s 6th annual A D…
Green Santa eco elves Day Without a Bag #RockinReusable Instagram Amoeba Music
It’s been a long road – more than 12 years – but, California’s statewide network of coastal marine protected areas (MPAs) is now complete. As of Dec. 19, 2012, the final piece of the coastal MPA network (along the North Coast) is effective. O…
California marine protected area ocean MLPA coast network Department of Fish and
Today we celebrate how hard work does pay off. Nineteen marine protected areas (MPAs) will become effective December 19, completing the statewide network of MPAs in California’s coastal regions. Last year we rejoiced as the MPAs along the south coa…
sand elf beach heal the bay ocean funny holidays
The EPA released its final National Recreational Beach Water Quality Criteria this week. After many years of fighting for strong protections, we are greeting the new standards with mixed emotions. The criteria, which hadn’t been updated since 1986…
New EPA Regulations on Water Quality - Travel Manitoba/Flickr
The cranberries from Thanksgiving dinner may all be consumed by now, but the spirit of giving thanks continues. This Tuesday, Heal the Bay is partnering with 92y.org’s Giving Tuesday campaign to help launch a national day of philanthropy. We're ask…
Giving Tuesday charity thanks heal the bay donate pelicans seahorses
In the face of serious concerns from Heal the Bay, our environmental partners and the USEPA, the Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board adopted the proposed stormwater permit for L.A. County on November 8.
take la by storm heal the bay los angeles stormwater stormdrain pollution ocean
Syndicate content