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.

A California bill that will prohibit stores from distributing single-use plastic carryout bags, passed through the State Senate’s Environmental Quality Committee with a 5-2 vote on Monday, July 2, just in time for International Plastic Bag Free Day…
Reusable bags in California's future, Rachelle Lefevre
The Los Angeles Times reports that "California energy officials are beginning to plan for the possibility of a long-range future without the San Onofre nuclear power plant." The story continues: "The plant's unexpected, nearly five-month outage has h…
Photo by Los Angeles Times
Recently the Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board issued the City of Avalon a Cease and Desist Order for violating waste discharge requirements, in addition to requiring the city to implement a Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) for bacteri…
City of Avalon, Photo by Ralphman from Flickr
"The myth that surfing is a white boy sport is absurd.” So say the filmmakers behind White Wash, a documentary focused on shattering the surfer-dude stereotype.
White Wash screens July 7 at California African American Museum
Municipal stormwater permits regulate all urban runoff discharge from separate storm sewer systems, so-called MS4s. Because stormwater is the No. 1 source of coastal pollution in California, these permits are a big deal for ensuring public health …
Join the Take L.A. by Storm campaign to fight for clean water
Only you can prevent water pollution.  The City of Malibu recently introduced a water pollution prevention hotline as a way to improve local water quality. Residents can call (310) 359-8003 to report environment and public health threats.  …
sewage spill flow report water pollution
Today's blogger is Katherine Pease, Heal the Bay's Watershed Scientist  At Heal the Bay, May and June mean that it's time for the Stream Team to conduct our yearly biological assessments of streams in the Malibu Creek Watershed.
Stream Team Arroyo Sequit Leo Carrillo Malibu Creek California newts
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