Pillar Point Harbor and Venice Beach Bacteria TMDL

Since 2002, beaches in Pillar Point Harbor and Venice Beach near Half Moon Bay have been on the 303(d) list for impairment from elevated levels of indicator bacteria. Poor water quality due to bacteria has persisted over the years and bacteria densities in the waters of the beaches have exceeded the numeric water quality objectives for Enterococcus, which are types of bacteria that indicate the potential for fecal contamination in marine waters. High levels of Enterococcus suggest presence of pathogenic organisms that are found in the waste of humans and warm-blooded animals (e.g., cows, horses, dogs and wildlife). These pathogens pose potential health risks to people who swim in contaminated waters and may also adversely affect marine animals.

We are developing a TMDL for Pillar Point Harbor and Venice Beach to identify sources of bacterial contamination and to devise a plan to improve water quality at the beaches.

map of Pillar Point Harbor


TMDL Development Process

There is a revised public notice for a workshop and CEQA scoping session for the Pillar Point Harbor and Venice Beach bacteria TMDL on December 4, 2019. The location of the meeting has been changed to the Half Moon Bay Library.

Please Join Our Mailing List

Visit our subscription page to sign up to receive future information for the Pillar Point Harbor and Venice Beach bacteria TMDL. Look for the section entitled “All Basin Planning/TMDL Projects by Area” and check the box for “Coastal San Mateo County”. You can sign up for other lists at the same time, if you wish.


For more information contact:
Barbara Baginska
Engineering Geologist