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State Water Boards: Ocean Standards

Ocean Standards

The Ocean Unit is responsible for the development and updating of statewide water quality control plans, policies, and standards involving marine waters. This includes the California Ocean Plan, the California Thermal Plan, and the development of sediment quality objectives in bays and estuaries. The unit is also responsible for providing scientific support to the Water Boards, and inter-agency coordination, regarding marine pollution and resource management issues.

California Ocean Plan

Image of California Ocean Plan 2012

California Ocean Plan 2012 (effective August 19, 2013)

California Ocean Plan 2009

The California Ocean Plan prohibits discharges into Areas of Special Biological Significance (ASBS). For more information on ASBS, visit our web page, State Water Quality Protection Areas - Areas of Special Biological Significance.


Ocean Plan Amendments Under Development

bullet Desalination Facilities and Brine Disposal - Amendments to the Ocean Plan and the Enclosed Bays and Estuaries Plan

bullet Trash Policy - Amendments to Statewide Water Quality Control Plans including the Ocean Plan

bullet Fecal Coliform Shellfish Standard White Paper - Review of potential actions State Water Board can take with regard to implementing a Fecal Coliform Standard in the Ocean Plan for Shellfish harvesting in state recreational waters. This is Issue 5 from the Ocean Plan Triennial Review Workplan 2011-2013.

bullet State Water Quality Protection Areas and Marine Protected Areas Amendment

bullet Model Monitoring, Vessel Discharges and Non-Substantive Amendments

Triennial Review

Reasonable Potential Calculator

A program to determine when effluent limitations are needed.

Related Web Pages

Other Related Links

Questions or Comments?

  • Dominic Gregorio , Manager, Watershed, Ocean and Wetlands Section - email or phone 916.341.5488
  • Dr. Maria de la Paz Carpio-Obeso, Chief, Ocean Standards Unit - email or phone 916.341.5858

email  Receive notifications, updates and other announcements by email. Subscribe online to our California Ocean Plan (COP), electronic mailing list.