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.

This week’s blogger is Stephen Mejia, a Southern California native who majored in Environmental Studies at UC Santa Cruz and has been interning with Heal the Bay's programs and education departments. I grew up in the South Bay. Its patchwork of str…
A creek flows through Compton? los angeles, compton creek, watershed
Today's blogger is Tara Crow, our Aquarium's public programs manager. I took a quick pause from my other work duties this morning to find something fun and exciting to post on the Aquarium's Facebook Wall.  Checking around, it see…
One Lost Little Crab at the Santa Monica Pier Aquarium
Today the Los Angeles City Council's Energy and Environment Committee took a bold step towards a double-ban on single-use plastic and paper bags.  The Committee's unanimous recommendation, led by Councilmember Paul Kortez, would require a phased…
Plastic Bag, Bag Ban, Los Angeles (image from Change.org's Denver Ban)
Today's blogger is Kirsten James, Heal the Bay's water quality director. All too often when I mention the topic of TMDLs (Total Maximum Daily Loads), people’s eyes start to glaze over. What’s a TMDL you ask? It’s a calculation of the maximum …
TMDL, Sampling, EPA, Water Quality, Science
The Hermosa Beach City Council has voted in favor of banning single-use polystyrene (better known as Styrofoam) food containers.  Originally proposed by the city’s Green Task Force back in 2010, the ban is set to go into effect in 180 days if …
The Hermosa Beach City Council voted in favor of banning single-use Styrofoam
Today's blogger is Susie Santilena, an environmental engineer in water quality at Heal the Bay.
Heal the Bay works with the Santa Monica Bay Restoration Commission
Overwatering is wasteful and moves trash and toxins to the ocean. Turn off the faucet when you don't need it. Fix leaky pipes and install low-flow shower heads and toilets. By conserving water, you can put less stress on sewage treatment plants and …
Ten Ways to Heal the Bay Don't be a Drip Video, water
2012 is the 40th anniversary of the Clean Water Act, the nation’s law for protecting our most irreplaceable resource. This year EPA and others will highlight the tremendous progress in reducing pollution since 1972, the many milestones along the wa…
Clean Water Act, Beach Water Quality
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