What is an Area of Special Biological Significance and how is it regulated?
The Areas of Special Biological Significance (ASBS) are coastal areas designated by the State of California where fragile biological and marine communities must be protected. Malibu is adjacent to ASBS No. 24, which was designated in 1974, and stretches from Latigo Point to Laguna Point. The regulations set forth by the state to protect these coastal habitats are intended to maintain natural water quality standards by preventing pollution from entering the ASBS.

The California Ocean Plan, adopted by the State Water Resources Control Board, prohibits "waste" discharges into the ASBS. One way waste is discharged to the ASBS is through pipes that drain directly to the ASBS. Another way waste reaches the ASBS is through dry-weather runoff (meaning runoff that is not from precipitation) that flows over the land and eventually drains to the ocean. Runoff, no matter where it starts, may pick up pollutants as it flows over impervious surfaces. That polluted water eventually drains to the ocean through storm drains and even natural streams and creeks. This runoff may harm the fragile biological and marine communities, which is why the state prohibits "waste" discharges into the ASBS and why best management practices (BMPs) must be used to prevent such discharges.

The city is committed to educating residents on how to prevent waste from discharging to the ASBS and to protect these coastal habitats.

Show All Answers

1. What is an Area of Special Biological Significance and how is it regulated?
2. What is the City of Malibu doing to protect ASBS #24 and comply with state regulations?
3. Is there a prohibition in Malibu against car washing, garage washing, balcony washing, and plant watering?
4. What can I do on my property to prevent runoff and protect the ASBS?
5. What is an Ocean Friendly Garden?
6. Can I irrigate my landscaping?