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.

Help the California King Tides Initiative document the impact of rising waters along the California coast by photographing the highest seasonal tides (a.k.a. king tides) occurring February 6-8. Your photographs will help visualize the impact of sea l…
High tide at Pismo Beach
Listen to Meredith McCarthy's interview on KFWB.
Volunteering at a beach clean up is one way to keep our oceans clean.
Work by biologists, physicists and experts in finfish culture and pathogen pollution received a $1.4 million boost from California Sea Grant research funds. Nine new science-based projects were awarded grants, including:
Sea Grant funds projects to rebuild Central Valley chinook salmon population
As top vacation destinations in the country, beaches are critical for recreation and the U.S. economy.  Specifically, California’s coastal tourism, which generates substantial revenues, is largely dependent on clean waters. Yet, every year, …
Tell EPA to Protect Your Family at the Beach
Last chance to cast your vote! Get your vote in today! VS.
Vote for Your Favorite Romantic Beach
The Nothin' But Sand for Saturday, Jan. 21 at Dockweiler has been cancelled due to weather conditions.  Sign up for February's Nothin' But Sand.
Nothin' But Sand Volunteer Beach Cleanup
The California Department of Fish and Game is actively enforcing the new Marine Protected Areas (MPAs), citing a Southern California man early Jan. 15 for poaching dozens of lobsters inside an MPA. According to a media release from the Department of …
A Southern California man received the first citation under new MPA laws
“The same nutrients that make your grass grow also will make algal blooms grow if they wash down the storm drains and into the waterways,” notes Susie Santilena, an environmental engineer in water quality at Heal the Bay. …
Steering clear of bad fertilizer, zev yaroslavsky, susie santilena, runoff
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