Strategy for a Healthy San Diego Bay

San Diego Bay is a high priority water body in the San Diego region due to its ecological value and because it supports tourism, commercial and subsistence fishing, and a variety of recreational, maritime, industrial, commercial, and military uses. For this reason, in June of 2015 the San Diego Water Board endorsed a Strategy for a Healthy San Diego Bay (Strategy). This Strategy is intended to guide the Board and its staff in making the most effective and efficient use of their resources when taking actions to protect and restore the health of the Bay. The Strategy applies the framework of the Healthy Waters Chapter of the Practical Vision to San Diego Bay in pilot scale by laying out the following seven steps:

Step 1 - Identify key beneficial use categories applicable to San Diego Bay. Then identify key areas associated with those beneficial use categories.

Step 2 - Assess conditions in San Diego Bay with regard to the key uses and associated areas.

Step 3 - Prioritize which issues are most important to address in San Diego Bay.

Step 4 - Set measurable goals for meaningful environmental outcomes.

Step 5 - Realign the Board's work to implement the tasks necessary to achieve the measurable goals.

Step 6 - Track progress of the work identified and the outcomes anticipated.

Step 7 - Periodically reevaluate the work priorities, goals, and milestones and set course corrections as necessary.

As envisioned in the Monitoring and Assessment Chapter of the Practical Vision, and in accordance with A Framework for Monitoring and Assessment in the San Diego Region, the Board has developed the following to aid the implementation of the Strategy:

The Unified Assessment and Strategic Monitoring Approach for San Diego Bay (Approach) outlines how the Board will use monitoring data and information that is currently available and may be available in the future to assess the conditions in San Diego Bay with regard to the key beneficial uses (Step 2 of the Strategy) and help focus the Board’s resources on what is most important to protect and restore the key beneficial uses of the Bay (Steps 3 through 7 of the Strategy).

The Board’s consideration to endorse the Approach on December 8, 2021 has been postponed. Accordingly, the November-December 2021 public comment period has been postponed until a new potential date for the Board’s consideration is established. Staff will use the email subscription list for “Healthy Waters: San Diego Bay” to inform interested persons of the restarted notice period.

The San Diego Water Board looks forward to the implementation of the Strategy. Interested persons can sign up for email notifications for "Healthy Waters: San Diego Bay" at