Habitat conditions and marine biological communities in the San Pedro Bay port complex have been documented since the early 1950s.
The first comprehensive surveys of biological, physical, and chemical conditions in the harbors were conducted by the Harbors Environmental Project of the University of Southern California between 1971 and 1978 to document existing conditions and evaluate impacts associated with dredging and planned expansion of the two ports.
Several subsequent studies were conducted during the 1980s and 1990s; however, these studies focused on each port separately.
In 2000, the Port of Los Angeles teamed with the Port of Long Beach to undertake comprehensive biological surveys of the entire San Pedro Bay port complex, covering both Los Angeles and Long Beach Harbors. Additional surveys were performed in 2008, 2013-2014 and 2018.
As part of ongoing efforts to promote a deeper understanding of these diverse habitats, the Port of Los Angeles has created an LA Harbor Habitats educational website, which showcases the abundant marine life thriving above and below Port waterways and details findings gleaned from the biological surveys.
You can download the results of the surveys and accompanying brochures below. For more information, call the Environmental Management Division at (310) 732-3675.
These comprehensive biological surveys evaluate the area’s physical and ecological characteristics, including surveys of kelp, eelgrass, plankton, fish, benthic animals, and marine birds and mammals. The surveys also address seasonal variations, the presence of invasive species and compare the ecological characteristics of various types of habitats found in different areas of the Los Angeles-Long Beach Harbors. The information from these surveys has been used in numerous environmental documents and for biological mitigation planning related to port development projects.
To inform the public about the results of these surveys, the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach have published reports and illustrated publications of the marine environment in Los Angeles-Long Beach Harbors, which demonstrate how natural resources have improved over the decades as a result of the successes of the ports' environmental protection efforts.
Interactive Story Maps
These interactive story maps were designed to complement the "San Pedro Bay: A Look Beneath the Surface" publication. Take a virtual dive into Los Angeles and Long Beach Harbors.