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Are Our Aquatic Ecosystems Healthy?

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California has many types of aquatic habitats. Follow the links below to learn more...

Coastal Bays and Estuaries


California's coastal waters, estuaries, and bays link the land and sea as well as freshwater and salt water environments. They provide habitat for fish, birds, and wildlife and support commercial and recreational activities. This measure shows the health of California's coastal waters as measured by 1) contamination in coastal sport fish and 2) an evaluation of water toxicity.

Wadeable Perennial Streams


California has approximately 67,000 kilometers of wadeable perennial (flowing year-round) streams that provide habitat and spawning grounds for fish, birds, and wildlife. The health of the state's streams was measured by 1) assessing the numbers and types of organisms that live in them, 2) evaluating the toxicity of river waters and 3) evaluating the toxicity of river sediment at the base of select watersheds.

Perennial Estuarine Wetlands


Wetlands support unique and diverse communities of plants and animals and provide floodwater storage and recreational opportunities for humans. This measure shows how much estuarine wetland exists in California and the health of those wetlands.



Many of California's over 9,000 lakes are popular sport fishing locations. The health of the state's lakes was measured by 1) a survey of contaminants in sport fish from more than 200 of the most popular fishing lakes and 2) an evaluation of water toxicity.

( Updated 9/23/11 )