The primary goal of The Clean Ocean Program is to inform community residents and businesses about the causes and effects of stormwater and urban runoff pollution. By increasing public awareness of activities within, and consequences to, San Clemente’s watersheds, the program will gradually reduce watershed pollution in San Clemente. Educational efforts focus on understanding, and where necessary, changing attitudes by providing useful information that will enable individuals in the community to change behaviors and current practices. The educational program strives to communicate fundamentals of watershed pollution control including:
For more information, please contact The Clean Ocean Program at (949) 361-6143.
The City of San Clemente’s Clean Ocean Program strives to protect and preserve public health of swimmers and surfers in the Pacific Ocean by implementing a comprehensive program of education outreach, inspections, and enforcement to reduce urban runoff and stormwater pollution. Heal the Bay’s recently released 2016-17 Annual Beach Report Card, a summary of the past year’s indicator bacteria water quality sampling at locations along the West Coast, assigns grades to beaches based on water sampling analysis.
Poche Beach has landed on the Honor Roll based on Heal the Bay’s assessment of water quality data during the past two monitoring years. This improved grade can be attributed to the combination of the joint San Clemente/Orange County runoff treatment system and San Clemente bird abatement programs.
The San Clemente Pier site was assigned to the Beach Bummer list for the first time this year. As indicated in the report, indicator bacteria exceedances are only found in the shoreline directly underneath the pier where swimming, surfing, and diving are prohibited for safety concerns, extending to 100 feet north and south of each side of the pier. Data from sampling sites just 25 feet and 75 feet north and south of the pier drain have consistently met bacteriological water quality standards most of the time indicating that water recreational user health is protected where swimming and surfing is allowed. The City feels that a beach bummer listing should only be associated with the areas where people are allowed to recreate in the water.
In 2016, a special study was conducted by the City to identify potential sources due to bacteria exceedances underneath the pier. Water quality analysis from the storm drain outlet and the shoreline underneath the pier included genetic marker testing for human and canine sources. The results indicated no human-associated source or canine source from the drain or the ocean shoreline.
Based on the water quality data and the number of birds roosting in the understory of the pier in very close proximity to the ocean water sampling site, the City believes that a significant source of the bacteria exceedances is bird fecal matter. The City is taking steps to implement bird deterrents in the pier understory to prevent bird fecal matter from dropping into the shoreline area.
The City will continue to conduct source investigations when water quality objectives are not being met. Citizens can help protect ocean water quality by reporting any water running down the street when it is not raining, or any illegal dumping into storm drains by calling the Pollution Reporting Hotline at 949-366-1553.
US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
THE US EPA was created in 1969 by the National Environmental Policy Act. The mission of the US EPA is to protect human health and the environment. The US EPA has divided the US into 10 regions, with California located in Region 9. The website includes environmental, pollution control, educational, and water quality information.
State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB)
The State Water Resources Control Board was created by the Legislature in 1967. The mission of the Water Board is to ensure the highest reasonable quality for water of the State, while allocating those waters to achieve the optimum balance of beneficial uses. The State is divided into nine regions with San Clemente located in the San Diego Region. The SWRCB is a State agency whose role is to protect water quality by setting statewide policy. The website includes environmental, pollution control, educational, and water quality information.
San Diego Regional Water Quality Control Board (RWQCB9)
There are nine (9) regional boards statewide that implement the SWRCB policy. The San Diego Regional Board’s jurisdiction includes San Diego County, South Orange County (including San Clemente), and West Riverside County. The website includes environmental, pollution control, educational, and water quality information.
California Coastal Commission
The California Coastal Commission was established by voter initiative in 1972 and later made permanent by the Legislature through adoption of the California Coastal Act of 1976. The Coastal Commission, in partnership with coastal cities and counties, plans and regulates the use of land and water in the coastal zone. The mission of the Coastal Commission is to protect, conserve, restore, and enhance environmental and human-based resources of the California coast and ocean for environmentally sustainable and prudent use of current and future generations. The Commission is one of California’s two designated coastal management agencies for the purpose of administering the federal Coastal Zone Management Act (CZMA) in California. The website includes environmental, pollution control, educational, and water quality information.
California Integrated Waste Management Board (CIWMB)
CIWMB is responsible for providing information relating to the proper disposal of wastes. The website contains information on household hazardous waste disposal and waste recycling.
Orange County Stormwater Program
The County of Orange is the managing agency for the countywide Stormwater Program. The website includes information on the countywide program including pollution prevention, regulatory reports, and water quality information.
Orange County Health Care Agency (HCA)
The Orange County HCA is tasked with many responsibilities relating to protection of public health and the environment. The website contains information on ocean water quality, hazardous waste collection and transportation, underground storage tank requirements, restaurant requirements, and other public health-related issues.
Orange County Agriculture Commissioner
The website contains information on agricultural chemicals and alternatives to pesticides used in and around the home.
The Surfrider Foundation
The Surfrider Foundation is a grassroots non-profit organization dedicated to protecting our oceans, waves and beaches. San Clemente is located in the South Orange Chapter, follow the links to our Local Chapter
California Stormwater Quality Association (CASQA)
Through the development of stormwater management policies and regulations, CASQA takes positive steps that lead to cleaner waterbodies for everyone to enjoy throughout California. In 2003, CASQA published an updated and expanded set of four BMP Handbooks reflecting the current practices, standards, and significant amount of knowledge gained since the early 1990s about the effectiveness of BMPs.
Resulting from extensive BMP effectiveness research, Caltrans has developed a number of stormwater guidance documents.