Hundreds of Certified ‘Clean Bay Restaurants’ Across LA Coastal Cities Address Stormwater Pollution

SAVING OUR PLANET - The Santa Monica Bay Restoration Commission’s (SMBRC) Clean Bay Restaurant Certification Program (CBRP) announced this week the certification—or equally important recertification—of hundreds of restaurants across the cities of Hermosa Beach, Manhattan Beach, Rancho Palos Verdes, Redondo Beach, and Santa Monica. The cities and SMBRC work in collaboration to inspect and certify that the restaurants included have achieved a 100% score on the program’s checklist of standards for stormwater runoff reduction, going above and beyond local stormwater regulations. 


Certified Clean Bay restaurants—which include anything from mall stops to oceanside eateries—  must have a full-scale recycling program, properly divert stormwater runoff of daily maintenance practices, implement exterior dry sweeping, and follow any additional city restrictions such as be Styrofoam-free or adhere to plastic bag bans, among many other requirements.  

“The Clean Bay Restaurant program has become more and more effective over the past few years as restaurant owners and managers see the value of demonstrating to the public their commitment to the environment,” states Frank Senteno, P.E., Director of Public Works, City of Hermosa Beach. “They look forward to receiving their certificates following inspections as do patrons actively looking for them.” 

Stormwater pollution poses a serious problem for Santa Monica Bay—which stretches from the LA-Ventura county line in the north to the Palos Verdes Peninsula in the south—and local beaches, and is a major source of coastal pollution in Southern California.  The Bay and its coastline are critical to the regional economy and local ecology, and are important recreational and cultural resources for the 2nd most populous region in the U.S. 

The SMBRC created and facilitates the CBRP, and works closely with the cities to identify and acknowledge those restaurants doing their part to protect the Bay and beaches. The cities inspect restaurants multiple times per year.  About 460 restaurants—listed on the program’s webpage—are currently certified in the cities noted above as well as in Malibu and Torrance, which are in the process of (re)certifying. 

The restaurants in the program, with their commitment to keeping the Bay clean, receive a number of benefits including a window display identifying the establishment as a “Clean Bay” Certified Restaurant; special recognition by their city and often in the local paper; inclusion on the SMBRC’s Clean Bay web site as a Certified Restaurant; and potential increased patronage by environmentally concerned residents and visitors. 

John Briggs, Managing Partner of Manhattan Beach’s California Pizza Kitchen (CPK) says, “We are very proud of our certification as a "Clean Bay Restaurant" each year, and we continue to partner with the Santa Monica Bay Restoration Foundation at local community fairs and festivals.  We have ‘7 Big Moves’ at California Pizza Kitchen and one ‘move’ is ‘Investing in a more Sustainable Business’.  We are committed to participating on every level within our local communities to make this happen.  At [CPK] we are currently composting our trash, changing our lighting to LED, giving re-usable bags to our guests, using low flow water devices, and we continue review all of our products from food to chemicals to be a more sustainable company.  These are just a few of our ‘moves.’”  The restaurant was also certified as a "Green Business" by the City of Manhattan Beach in April 2013. 

As a science-focused, non-regulatory, and locally-based state entity, the SMBRC is involved in a range of programs and partnerships to restore and protect the Santa Monica Bay, which includes not only the 266 square mile Bay, but also its 400 square mile watershed.  One such program focuses on working with sustainable fisheries, tying into the greater local food picture of the area, and another works with local Southern California boaters and marinas on safe and environmentally friendly ways to use and take care of boats. 

Extended through July 31st, the SMBRC is also running a Clean Bay Eats contest. By simply checking in at a favorite certified restaurant, and sharing a photo/experience on the “Santa Monica Bay Restoration Foundation” Facebook page along with the phrase #CleanBayEats, contestants can win a prize. 

The list of restaurants certified can be found here.  

Restaurants and cities can find out more about being involved in the CBRP at (213) 576-6645. 


(Julie Du Brow is the Principal of dubroWORKS PR / Marketing specializing in green building, architecture/design, sustainability, film, food, and start ups.  She is also the Communications Specialist for the Santa Monica Bay Restoration Foundation.)





Vol 11 Issue 56

Pub: July 12, 2013