Stream Pollution

Resource Conservation District of the Santa Monica Mountains

Pollution from our streets, into our streams, and to the ocean.

Pollutants such as motor oil, pesticides, fertilizers, pet waste and trash contaminate our local streams, beaches and ocean. When it rains, when we over water our lawns, or wash our cars in the driveway, the run-off picks up pollutants (from streets, parking lots, golf courses, homes and yards) and carries it into nearby storm drains. Urban run-off dumps polluted water into storm drains which lead directly into nearby streams. The polluted water then flows through the mountains and eventually dumps trash and pollutants into the ocean. Bacteria and urban pollutants can endanger human health, leading to the closure of beaches and trash that makes it to the ocean can be eaten by marine animals and entangle around their fins and necks. It doesn’t matter how far you live from the ocean, simple changes you make at home and in your community can reduce stream and beach pollution.

Additional Topics

How you can help

Take Action Against Stream Pollution


Heal the Bay
California Coastal Commission
The Bay Foundation
Southern California Research Learning Center
California Department of Fish and Wildlife

Regional Coalition for Clean Rivers and Stream
Citizens' Guide to Pest Control and Pesticide Safety PDF

Further Reading

  • Klose, K. and S. Copper. 2012. Contrasting effects of an invasive crayfish (Procambarus clarkii) on two temperate stream communities. Fresh Water Biology, Blackwell Publishing Ltd, 57, 526-240.
  • Riley, S.D., G.T. Busteed, L.B. Kats, T.L. Vandergon, L.F.S. Lee, R.G. Dagit, J.L. Kerby, R.N. Fisher, and R.M. Sauvajot. 2005. Effects of urbanization on the distribution and abundance of amphibians and invasive species in Southern California Streams. Conservation Biology. vol.19, No.6.

Last updated: July 12, 2016

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Contact Info

Mailing Address:

26876 Mulholland Highway
Calabasas, CA 91302


805 370-2301

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