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Water and Sediment Quality

Water and sediment quality in the Port of Long Beach has improved greatly over the last 40 years through increased monitoring, more aggressive regulation by state and federal agencies, better pollution source control, and dredging that has removed accumulated contaminants in harbor sediments. However, the Port faces ongoing challenges from contaminants that remain in Port sediment, runoff into the harbor from Port land, and flow from upstream sources. The Port of Long Beach is committed to implementing programs and taking actions that will improve water and sediment quality.

This commitment was emphasized in 2009 with approval of the Water Resources Action Plan (WRAP). Developed jointly by the Port of Long Beach and Port of Los Angeles, the WRAP outlines programs that will support healthy water and sediment quality as well as prevent Port operations from degrading existing water and sediment quality.

Stormwater inspection
STORMWATER INSPECTION
Garibaldi (state fish)
GARIBALDI (STATE FISH)
Kelp
KELP
Sea star
SEA STAR
Water and Sediment Programs
  • WATER RESOURCES ACTION PLAN – In 2009, the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles together adopted the Water Resources Action Plan (WRAP). The WRAP is a planning document outlining the various control measures and programs that the Ports would implement to ensure continued compliance while working to improve the quality of water and sediment within the harbor complex. The WRAP was developed through a coordinated effort among the Ports, agency partners, and the public. The WRAP contained fifteen control measures, each of which focused on the implementation of a program or project in support of water or sediment quality within the ports. Many of the programs identified below were developed or improved through implementation of the WRAP.
  • MASTER STORMWATER PROGRAM – Created by the Port of Long Beach in 1992 in order to implement a systematic approach to stormwater management throughout the Harbor District, the Master Stormwater Program includes all aspects of stormwater management, including pollution prevention and treatment, water quality monitoring, and educational activities. The Port has implemented and continually re-examined and refined its program. The program focuses on industrial, construction, and municipal discharges within the Harbor District, while going above and beyond what is required by federal and state law.
  • VESSEL DISCHARGES – With a number of Federal, state, and local rules regulating a number of on-water discharges and maintenance of vessels within the Port (and beyond), the Port has developed a user-friendly Vessel Discharge Rules and Regulations guidance manual.
    • VESSEL DISCHARGE RULES AND REGULATIONS – This manual outlines the most common vessel discharges and maintenance activities (ballast water, grey/black water, underwater hull cleaning), whether the discharge or activity can occur within the Port, and required best management practices.
    • SMALL VESSEL MAINTENANCE AND DISCHARGE GUIDEBOOK – While the Vessel Discharge Rules and Regulations guidance manual focuses on large commercial vessels, there was still a need for a similar guidebook focused on recreational and smaller commercial vehicles.
  • SEDIMENT MANAGEMENT PLAN – The Sediment Management Handbook was developed to guide Port of Long Beach staff through the evaluation and selection of the most appropriate management alternative(s) for contaminated and uncontaminated sediments generated during Port dredging and fill projects. The Sediment Management Handbook reflects the Port's commitment to sustainability and incorporates sustainable strategies for dredging and fill projects, including beneficial reuse, third-party fill material, construction BMP's, and project planning.
  • TOTAL MAXIMUM DAILY LOAD (TMDL) – In March of 2012 the Los Angeles and Long Beach Harbors Toxic and Metals TMDL was adopted by the State Water Resources Control Board. With adoption of the TMDL, the Port of Long Beach is coordinating with the Port of Los Angeles, Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board, State Water Resources Control Board, and other partners to begin the development and implementation of additional water and sediment programs and special studies in support of coordinated efforts to meet the limits of the TMDL. One of these studies includes a harbor-wide fish tracking study designed to identify fish movement as it relates to contaminated sediment. The Port will continue to work with the Port of Los Angeles and its partners in meeting the TMDL.

Water projectsClick the image for a graphic depicting current water and sediment quality programs and projects within the Port of Long Beach.

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