San Diego’s Areas of Special Biological Significance
While clean water is a necessary component of healthy oceans, water quality is constantly under attack from a variety of pollution sources, including discharge of wastewater and pollutants, litter and stormwater runoff.
In an effort to help protect our oceans and maintain natural water quality within some of the most pristine and biologically unique sections of California’s coast, the state created Areas of Special Biological Significance (ASBS) in the 1970s. Today, there are 34 such areas – sometimes referred to as State Water Quality Protection Areas – in California. The La Jolla shores/ Scripps area is home to two ASBS due to its unique marine diversity and opportunity for public use and research.
Following establishment of these areas, in 1983, the State Water Board's Ocean Plan officially prohibited all polluted runoff and discharges into ASBS. Yet despite the importance of clean water and these legislative regulations, water pollution in its many forms continues to plague California’s waters.
San Diego's Areas of Special Biological Significance
Here in San Diego, Coastkeeper has a unique partnership with Scripps Institution of Oceanography/UCSD and the City of San Diego to address threats to the water quality we strive to improve and maintain.
Projects include incorporating low impact development techniques into constructed surfaces – such as parking lots, sidewalks and rooftops – along the La Jolla shores area and Scripps Institution of Oceanography and University California, San Diego campuses. Another primary component achieving higher water quality in ASBS is community participation. Everyone can be involved in preserving and improving the health of the watersheds that they live, work and play in. From fixing broken sprinklers, to participating in a beach cleanup or water quality monitoring event, we can all help prevent further degradation of our precious water resources.
Designating these areas as ASBS offers a tremendous opportunity to preserve the fantastic array of marine life and safeguard some of the world’s most beautiful coastal areas.