Los Angeles Waterkeeper


Mission Statement

Los Angeles Waterkeeper safeguards LA’s inland and coastal waters by enforcing laws and empowering communities.


Los Angeles Waterkeeper (LAW) was founded in 1993 as the Santa Monica BayKeeper. Founding Director Terry Tamminen and his team first started the organization while patrolling the Santa Monica Bay – on a single houseboat, no less – identifying sources of pollution and taking action to prevent it. As the Santa Monica BayKeeper, the team primarily operated in LA County’s Westside, the Santa Monica Bay, and the waters off of Malibu taking water quality samples from storm drain outfalls along the coast, employing litigation to target egregious industrial polluters and utilizing scientific divers to restore kelp forest habitat.
As the organization developed and expanded, many of BayKeeper’s initiatives moved further inland, far beyond the borders of Santa Monica or even the City of Los Angeles. Therefore, to reflect the region-wide scope of its work, the organization officially changed its name to Los Angeles Waterkeeper in 2012. LA Waterkeeper now offers robust programs that operate across LA County, serving its over 10 million residents.
As one of more than 350 members of the international Waterkeeper Alliance led by Robert F. Kennedy Jr., and a founding member of the CA Coastkeeper Alliance, LAW is committed to the enforcement of the federal Clean Water Act and the protection of local waterways.
With a successful history of combating ongoing pollution of our waters and making strides restoring our impaired waterways back to dynamic ecosystems, LAW now seeks to address the root causes of pollution by encouraging community-and-coalition-building around a Reduce (conservation), Reuse (rainwater harvesting), Recycle (potable wastewater reclamation), and Restore (contaminated groundwater/surface waters) approach to the LA region's water supply needs. While we serve Angelenos throughout the County, our work is increasingly centered on lifting the voices and concerns of community members in historically underserved and underrepresented communities.

Program Details

For more than 25 years, our Litigation and Advocacy programs have helped ensure that the strongest water quality standards are in place to protect waterways throughout the County and have helped dramatically reduce sewage spills, urban runoff pollution, and industrial contamination of LA waterways. Our Marine program has provided hundreds of Angelenos the ability to act as environmental stewards by patrolling Marine Protected Areas or joining our volunteer scientific diver corps to restore kelp forests and reduce the harm of invasive species in our ocean. LAW’s Watershed Program has worked to engage and empower Angelenos to monitor and steward our shared inland environment so that everyone has access to living, healthy, and safe waterways. As part of our efforts, LAW helps train future environmental advocates through hands-on water quality and ecological health monitoring fieldwork that provides students and volunteers – primarily from underserved communities – STEAM-based curricula and the tools and trainings necessary to engage in the decision-making process to address pollution in their neighborhoods.
Primary Issue
120 Broadway Suite 105
Santa Monica, CA 90401
United States
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