Protect the Coast

Water Quality

The Federal Clean Water Act requires states to establish maximum limits of pollutants that streams, rivers, lakes, and oceans can accept before their beneficial uses such as swimming, fishing, and industrial uses are impaired. These maximum limits are called Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDL).

Daily Activities Affect Ocean Health

Keeping the ocean clean and healthy is everyone's responsibility. The ocean is threatened by pollutants left on beaches and roads, which are swept into the water by stormwater and unnatural dry-weather runoff. Stormwater refers to water that originates from a rain event, whereas dry-weather runoff occurs without rain.

Dry-weather runoff is often caused by over-watering landscaping, hosing down outdoor areas or vehicles, or draining a pool to the street. You can make simple changes to eliminate harmful habits. By choosing smart landscaping practices, using ocean friendly cleaning methods, and properly disposing of hazardous materials, we can prevent pollution.


Special Protections

Eliminating Discharges & Preventing Pollution

In 2004, the State Water Resources Control Board directed the City of Malibu to eliminate discharges to the Area of Special Biological Significance (ASBS) along the coast. Discharges include “stormwater” and “dry-weather runoff. Stormwater refers to water that originates from a rain event, while dry-weather runoff refers to unnatural water runoff caused by people. The City, along with other statewide agencies, submitted a request to the State to allow stormwater discharges to ASBS In March 2012, the exception for select discharges to ASBS was adopted, permitting clean stormwater to flow to ASBS The State also required agencies to put into action programs called “Special Protections” to prevent pollution from reaching ASBS All flows of unnatural dry-weather runoff and polluted stormwater to ASBS remain illegal under the Special Protections.

California State Water Resources Control Board Resolution No. 2012-0012 approves exceptions to the California Ocean Plan for selected discharges into Areas of Special Biological Significance, including special protections for beneficial uses and certifying a program environmental impact report.