Southern California Stormwater Monitoring Coalition

The Southern California Stormwater Monitoring Coalition (SMC) is a collaboration of more than a dozen public agencies responsible for managing discharges of stormwater and urban runoff into streams and storm drain infrastructure across coastal Southern California. The SMC pools resources and shares knowledge to improve water quality in these systems. SCCWRP, as an SMC member, facilitates the design and execution of numerous SMC studies and programs.

The SMC’s signature program is the Regional Watershed Monitoring Program, which examines the biological health of more than 4,000 miles of Southern California streams that drain to the coastal ocean. Since its inception in 2009, this ongoing regional monitoring program has been helping Southern California’s watershed management community to more effectively plan, allocate resources and set priorities.

Managing runoff is challenging

In coastal Southern California, land-based runoff and the contaminants it transports can degrade water quality in streams and storm drain infrastructure alike. During rain and storm events, contaminants wash off the land from across hundreds of square miles of populated landscapes. And during dry weather, runoff from developed surfaces can introduce pollutants to waterways year-round.

The SMC helps Southern California’s stormwater management community meet the dual challenge of protecting ecological integrity and minimizing flooding risks. SMC members gain access to large, regional-scale data sets that provide key insights and context for making local-scale decisions. Furthermore, SMC participants pool their resources to pursue regional-scale investigations that collectively benefit stormwater managers across Southern California and beyond. Indeed, the SMC has supported development of numerous management strategies and tools relevant to the region that have been codified in statewide stormwater monitoring programs and policies statewide.

SCCWRP supports SMC research

SCCWRP works closely with the SMC to develop strategies and tools that improve the work of Southern California’s stormwater management community. In addition to facilitating the SMC Regional Watershed Monitoring Program, which runs in five-year cycles, SCCWRP runs a robust research program aimed at improving management of stormwater and urban runoff. A particular focus is on evaluating the effectiveness of various stormwater BMPs (best management practices) in improving water quality, as well as optimizing the design and placement of these solutions.