In This Section
Scientists are dyeing California's ocean pink to track pollution
Can surfing in polluted water kill you?
Ocean polluted by urban runoff from storm; beachgoers advised to avoid water
Sewage water prompt Imperial Beach closures
Citizen scientists take on problem of Pacific plastics
- View Archive
California Polluted Beaches
Section 303(d) of the Clean Water Act requires states to identify all seriously polluted, or "impaired," water bodies every two years. The states put each polluted water body and its associated contaminants on what they call the "303(d) list." In California, the State Water Board and nine Regional Water Boards maintain and update this list. Thirty-five years after the creation of the Clean Water Act, though, hundreds of California's beaches remain contaminated, and the problem is getting worse. All of the beaches that are listed as impaired on the current 303(d) list are marked with a yellow dot on the map. Select a region to learn more about beach water pollution in your area and where it comes from. The data displayed in these maps is from the latest list adopted in 2006. The State Water Board adopted the statewide 2008/2010 list of severely polluted waters in August 2010; however, approval of the adopted list by U.S. EPA is pending. Concerned about the water quality in your region? Contact your legislative representatives or your Regional Water Board and let them know! Join us in the effort to clean up the water in your region!
To get up-to-date reports on water quality at your local beach, visit Heal the Bay's Beach Report Card.
Back to Statewide View of Severely Polluted Waters