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.

They may be small, but sea skaters are alerting scientists to the immense perils posed by plastic pollution in the ocean. “We're seeing changes in this marine insect that can be directly attributed to the plastic," says Miriam Goldstein, a research…
plastic bags, litter, trash, ocean, marine debris
Just in time for summer vacation planning, weather information site Weather Underground is now providing Heal the Bay’s Beach Report Card grades to beachgoers in California and the Pacific Northwest on its Beach Weather pages, potentially reac…
beach, weather, water quality, surfers, swimmers, beachgoers
May 4, 2012 Heal the Bay’s campaign to “Take L.A. By Storm” got off to a great start yesterday, with concerned citizens telling the Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control board to set strong pollution limits as it debates a new stormwater p…
Taking L.A. By Storm, MS4 Stormwater Permit, Clean Water Act, Water Pollution
Today’s blogger is Dana Roeber Murray, a marine and coastal scientist at Heal the Bay As a recreational and scientific diver, I’ve seen the California spiny lobster ‑ an ecologically important species in our local kelp forests, as well as an im…
California spiny lobsteri, brittle stars, MPA, MLPA, Heal the Bay
April 24, 2012 Today’s blogger is Sarah Sikich, Heal the Bay’s coastal resources director Last week we lost a local coastal champion, Joe Melchione, to his fight with lung cancer. Joe was a dedicated environmental activist, friend, and talented …
Joe Melchione, Malibu Surfing Association, Heal the Bay, Malibu, MSA
Phytoplankton (a.k.a. tiny marine plants) produce half the planet's food and there are signs that their numbers are plummeting as the seas warm, according to a recent article in the magazine New Scientists.
Phytoplankton, Climate Change, Ocean, Heal the Bay, Science, Marine Biology
What better way to celebrate the 42nd Earth Day than by getting your very own rain barrel? Harvesting rainwater protects the ocean from urban runoff and conserves potable water.
Get your own low-cost rain barrel and help preserve the ocean from urban runoff
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