Areas of Special Biological Significance

What is an ASBS?

Areas of Special Biological Significance (ASBS) are protected coastal areas created to preserve local marine ecosystems. There are 34 ASBS along California's coast that support a rich variety of aquatic life. ASBS regulations prohibit pollutants from entering the ocean through private and public storm drains and natural streams. Malibu is home to a portion of ASBS No. 24, which stretches 24 miles from Latigo Point beyond the County Line to Laguna Point (in the Point Mugu area). The City of Malibu continues to prove itself as an environmental leader by working diligently to protect the 11,842 acres of marine habitat in ASBS No. 24.


city projects

The City received California State Proposition 84 funds to install facilities that can catch and treat some runoff before reaching the ASBS. The City will construct these facilities at storm drains on Wildlife Road and Whitesands Place on Point Dume and along Broad Beach Road. The projects are anticipated to be completed in 2014. The funding also provided for a three-year Coastal Preservation Specialist position, which was dedicated to ASBS education and outreach efforts for the community.

Community Efforts

The City and its community work together to protect the Area of Special Biological Significance (ASBS) along the coast. The State's Proposition 84 grant funded a three-year staff position, Coastal Preservation Specialist, that was dedicated to ASBS education. The outreach aimed to inform residents, visitors, and youth how to minimize their impact on the ASBS in order to preserve healthy coastal habitats.

Local schools partnered with the City to engage students with an interactive curriculum about the ASBS, watersheds, runoff, and pollution-preventing solutions. Malibu locals continue to complement the City’s structural improvement projects by planting Ocean Friendly Gardens and embracing sustainable practices.

California State Proposition funding made these projects possible. The infrastructure projects were managed by the City's Public Works Department and outreach to the community was provided by the grant-funded Coastal Preservation Specialist.

partnership with Local Schools

Point Dume elementary

The City partnered with Point Dume Marine Science Elementary School to educate students about watersheds, the storm drain system, urban runoff, and Malibu’s protected Area of Special Biological Significance. Staff presented to an assembly of students grades K-5 to kickoff the special program. The assembly was followed by grade specific lessons and experiments led by marine science teacher, Sandy Carter.

Students also participated in the City’s 2012 Earth Day Festival by providing information to attendees about composting and coastal stewardship.

Malibu high

The Malibu High School Environment Club and Boys and Girls Club Green Team volunteered to help the City distribute reusable bags to shoppers in Malibu. The effort was part of the Day Without A Bag campaign to raise awareness about the environmental hazards caused by single-use bags. The hundreds of free reusable bags distributed by students made it easy for community members to switch to reusable bags.