About Us

Our mission is to protect and restore Santa Monica Bay, San Pedro Bay, and adjacent waters through enforcement, fieldwork, and community action. We work to achieve this goal through litigation and regulatory programs that ensure water quality protections in waterways throughout L.A. County. Our Litigation, Advocacy, Marine, and Water Quality teams conduct interconnected projects that serve this mission.

Los Angeles Waterkeeper is an Organization of Waterkeeper Alliance, the world’s fastest growing environmental movement. Along with hundreds other Waterkeeper Organizations, our movement works for swimmable, drinkable and fishable waterways worldwide.


In 1993, Terry Tamminen and his team first started Santa Monica Baykeeper while patrolling the Santa Monica Bay-on a single houseboat no less- identifying sources of pollution and taking action to stop it. Twenty years later our organization has grown by leaps and bounds, and is now called Los Angeles Waterkeeper, recognized as the defender of all waterways throughout Los Angeles. However, despite our growth in size and prominence, our principles have remained fundamentally the same.

Since 2004, sewage spills that foul our rivers and beaches have decreased by 83%–a direct result of our successful lawsuit against the City of LA under the federal Clean Water Act. More recently, we have reached a $6.6 million dollar settlement with the City of Malibu, requiring the City to clean up some of Malibu’s most frequented spots including the world famous Surfrider Beach. Whether it’s protecting ocean habitats, endangered species, addressing the impacts from oil drilling, sewage and trash collection, or advocating on statewide policies related to our issues, we are there. And not only do we use the law to achieve our goals, we also work to restore creeks and rivers, and our volunteer scientific diver team works tirelessly to reduce the impacts of invasive species along our shoreline.


Recent Accomplishments

Protected local waterways from 3,000+ Clean Water Act violations at industrial facilities. We were victorious in 2 lawsuits against  facilities that released toxic levels of pollutants into our waterways. We filed 5 more lawsuits just this year, and we continue our relentless campaign to ultimately eliminate polluted stormwater discharge from entering LA’s waterways.

Engaged hundreds of students and community volunteers in monitoring the health of the region’s most impaired waterways. We revamped our stormwater assessment teams and spearheaded a collaborative project to empower volunteers to steward the LA River. In 2016 alone, we’ve trained 300+ volunteers in an effort to support communities monitoring their local waterways.

Challenged the State Water Board’s plan to weaken pollution standards for the LA River. We filed a lawsuit against the California State and Los Angeles Regional Water Boards over their decisions to relax regulations on lead and increase limits for copper by up to 1000% in the LA River and its tributaries.

Launched a new underwater research project to utilize our volunteer scientific diver corps to assess and address the emerging threat of invasive species. We recruited and trained nearly 50 volunteer scientific divers to help us investigate the growing threat of invasive species in our coastal ecosystems. We established sites in Palos Verdes to begin monitoring, and we’re set to begin testing removal methods early next year.

Secured $4 million from LA County for clean water projects in LA’s most impacted communities. Our settlement with the County will result in $2.8 million for a Green Streets project in Watts and $1.2 million for stormwater capture systems across the county—efforts that will help address the toxic mix of pollutants found in billions of gallons of annual stormwater runoff.

Empowered underserved and at-risk youth in helping enforce No Fishing zones along our coast. We completed 60 survey trips through LA’s Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) and reported 43 violations to the Department of Fish and Wildlife. We provided MPA education to 32 violators and brought onboard 150+ new volunteers.

Contact Us

Mailing Address

LA Waterkeeper
120 Broadway, Suite 105
Santa Monica, CA 90401

Email: info@lawaterkeeper.org
Phone Number: 310-394-6162
Fax Number: 310-394-6178

Our office is located in Downtown Santa Monica. We are on the 1st floor of the Brian Cave building facing Broadway. Free public parking is available for the first 90 minutes adjacent to Santa Monica Place in public parking structure 8, 1571 2nd St. Santa Monica, CA (Colorado Ave. and 2nd St.)

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Contact Us

LA Waterkeeper
120 Broadway, Suite 105
Santa Monica, CA 90401

Phone: 310-394-6162
Fax: 310-394-6178

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