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’re exotic, and not in a good way, but why should you care about weeds? If you want to hang on to your favorite local nature spots, constant maintenance and eradication of these non-native, invasive plants, a.k.a. weeds, is an absolute necessit…
Malibu Creek Watershed weeds non-natives invasives habitat loss ecosystem
Free Bird! You might be grateful to hear your favorite band cover this song...or not. At Heal the Bay, we can say without irony that we are grateful to Freebirds in Agoura Hills for teaming with us to restore the Malibu Creek Watershed in January. No…
Thank you thursday mommy poppins freebirds bodega gesso foundation frank moore
Climate change is happening now. Here in Los Angeles- not just in the Arctic. In our backyards, our ocean, our mountains, our beaches. Of course it’s important to keep reducing carbon emissions, but at this point climate change is occurring – we …
climate change Heal the Bay adaptation ocean beaches mountains carbon
Do you care about clean water in your community? Love putting on a show? Want to make change (not just the money kind)? Join our elite Speakers Bureau team to help raise educational awareness across Los Angeles in schools, workplaces and social group…
Heal the Bay's Speakers Bureau pollution clean water outreach
This trashcan tells quite a tale, discovered more than 2,500 miles away from our Santa Monica base on a Hawaiian beach. Researchers found the intact plastic trashcan emblazoned with Heal the Bay stickers while they were surveying 2011 Japanese tsunam…
hawaii heal the bay santa monica trash can marine debris
Planting one of the first MPA signs along Los Angeles' coast felt like it'd been a long time coming.
MPA Malibu Palos Verdes Catalina Heal the Bay training resources
"Life's most persistent and urgent question is: 'What are you doing for others?'" –Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Each year on the federal holiday marking Dr. King’s birthday, Americans celebrate his legacy by working together to serve our neighbors…
MLK Day of Service community cleanup beach zero waste aquarium parks
Support for our work at Heal the Bay comes from such varied sources, that sometimes we feel more like curators than water quality advocates, scientists and educators.
Heal the Bay Thank You Thursday Heart Beach
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
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