Nearly 80 percent of Malibu restaurants and other food service businesses exceed local stormwater standards and were recognized by the Clean Bay Restaurant Certification Program.

The stormwater pollution and urban runoff can create a serious problem for the Santa Monica Bay and other local water bodies. This jeopardizes the overall ecology of the watershed.

In its ongoing commitment to improve the area’s water quality, local cities have banded together to kick the problem out of the water.

The certification program recognizes food service establishments that receive a score of 100 percent on the program’s criteria checklist. This requires businesses to exceed their stormwater regulations.

“The city of Malibu is dedicated to protecting the environment and places water quality as a top priority,” Malibu Mayor John Sibert said. “The city has a goal to restore and protect the watershed and we’re proud to promote local restaurants that feel the same way.”

It is now the third consecutive year that the Clean Bay Restaurant Certification Program has shown progress. In 2011 alone, 49 Malibu businesses qualified for certification, which compromises 78 percent of all restaurants and food services.

“We’re very excited to see this program in Malibu.” Shelly Luce, executive director of the Santa Monica Bay Restoration Commission, said.

A total of 39 Malibu food service businesses qualified last year and 37 qualified in 2009.

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