EPA’s Pacific Southwest Region includes over 3,000 miles of coastline: over 1,100 miles in California, over 1,000 miles in Hawaii, and about 1,000 more miles on other Pacific islands. Coastal waters also include bays and estuaries, and U.S. territorial waters from shorelines out to the federal 12-mile limit. Fish and wildlife habitats in these coastal waters range from sandy beaches to rocky tidepools; from offshore kelp beds to the productive fishing areas of the continental shelf.
Sea anemones in a tidepool near Salt Point, Sonoma County, CA
Most of the nation’s population lives near a coastline. The same areas that often attract human development also provide essential feeding, cover, migration routes, and breeding or nursery areas for a broad array of coastal and marine life. Habitat loss and degradation, overfishing, land-based pollution, invasive species, and shoreline erosion are key issues facing coastlines and estuaries in the Pacific Southwest.
EPA participates in many programs protecting coastal waters, from Malibu to Guam. For more information, see the links on the right side of this page.
Coastal America is a unique partnership of federal agencies, state and local governments, and private organizations. EPA Region 9 is an active partner in Coastal America. The partners work together to protect, preserve, and restore our nation's coasts. The challenge is to meld the capabilities and expertise of all the partners to solve local coastal problems. This is accomplished by sharing information, pooling resources, and combining management skills and technical expertise. To learn more about the partnership, visit Coastal America.
Our coastal waters are home to a wide variety of plants and animals including:
crustaceans such as crabs and koura (crayfish)
marine mammals (such as dolphins).
seaweed & alge