Bacteria Summit

California Bacteria Summit

Thank you to everyone who participated and engaged in the California Bacteria Summit held at CalEPA from September 14-16, 2022. We are grateful to everyone who shared their knowledge and brought their voice to help build solutions to achieve our shared common goals – waters that are safe to swim, and shellfish that are safe to eat.

Video Links

The California Bacteria Summit was publicly live-streamed and recorded. The links to the recordings are available below. The recordings provide the most comprehensive experience for anyone wanting to know more (as the summit featured many panels, discussions, and breakout groups not captured in the static presentations).

Bacteria Summit – Day 1, September 14, 2022

Bacteria Summit – Day 2, September 15, 2022

Bacteria Summit – Day 3, September 16, 2022


Presentations are hyperlinked in the final agenda, as well as listed below. Please note, not all portions of the California Bacteria Summit included presentations (e.g., discussion panels, break out groups, collective group discussions). Watching the video of the summit will provide the most enriching and complete perspective.

Day 1 Presentations (September 14, 2022)

Item 1 – Welcome and Opening (Jonathan Bishop, State Water Board and Karen Cowan, CASQA)   

Item 3 – What does it mean to say “waters that are safe to swim and shellfish that are safe to eat? (Ryan Golten, Facilitator)  

Item 4a – California Bacteria Objectives (Rebecca Fitzgerald, State Water Board)   

Item 4b – Framework for Ocean and Beach Monitoring (Amanda Blackwell, State Water Board)  

Item 4b – Framework for Ocean and Beach Monitoring (Nick Martorano, State Water Board)  

Item 4c – National Water Quality Recreational Criteria (John Ravenscroft, EPA)

Item 4d – California Department of Public Health Regulatory Framework (Vanessa Zubkousky, CDPH)  

Item 5a - How Do We Evaluate and Measure if Waters are Safe to Swim and Shellfish are Safe to Eat? (Josh Steele, SCCWRP)   

Item 5b - How Do We Evaluate and Measure if Waters are Safe to Swim and Shellfish are Safe to Eat? (Jeff Soller, Soller Environmental   

Item 5c – How Do We Evaluate and Measure if Waters are Safe to Swim and Shellfish are Safe to Eat? (Ali Boehm, Stanford University)  

Day 2 Presentations (September 15, 2022)

Item 8 – Welcome and Intro to Day 2 (Ryan Golten, Facilitator)  

Item 9a – Overview of Potential Sources of Bacteria and How they Get to Waterbodies (Ashli Desai, LWA)  

Item 9b – Efforts that Have Been Used to Reduce Indicator Bacteria Concentrations (Brandon Steets, Geosyntec)  

Item 10a – Efforts that Have Been Use to Reduce Human Sources of Bacteria (Vicki Kalkirtz, City of San Diego)

Item 10b - Efforts that Have Been Use to Reduce Human Sources of Bacteria (Jill Murray, City of Santa Barbara)  

Item 11a – Water Boards and TMDL Permitting Framework (Rebecca Fitzgerald, State Water Board)  

Item 11b - Water Boards and TMDL Permitting Framework (Tom Mumley, San Francisco Bay Regional Water Board)   

Day 3 Presentations (September 16, 2022)

Item 14 – Welcome and Intro to Day 3: Where do we go from here? (Ryan Golten, Facilitator

Item 15 – Key Take Aways from Days 1 and 2 (Rebecca Fitzgerald, State Water Board; Karen Cowan, CASQA; Karen Mogus and Jonathan Bishop, State Water Board)  

Item 20 – Wrap Up and Next Steps (Rebecca Fitzgerald, State Water Board)  

Reference Only: Summit Details

The California Water Boards and CASQA will be co-hosting a three-day statewide summit on bacteria from September 14 - 16, 2022, at the CalEPA building in Sacramento (pending applicable COVID restrictions in place at that time).

The purpose of the summit will be to identify the priority technical and regulatory actions needed to recreate safely in California’s river I and ocean waters, to eat shellfish safely, and the process to implement those actions. In simple terms, we want to work together to identify solutions and actions that will get us to our goals.  

The agenda identifies the goals for each day. It is important to emphasize that presentations will provide information to seed additional discussion. The summit will be professionally facilitated, and all in-person attendees will actively be engaged.  

As the success of the event is contingent upon active engagement and participation, we strongly encourage registering individuals who are able to contribute and can commit to doing so over the entire three-day event. In-person attendance is limited to the room capacity and is first-come, first-registered. For those individuals whose primary goal is to learn more and stay informed, please register for the remote viewing option.

COVID: There may be a reduced capacity for the meeting room due to COVID restrictions, limiting the number of in-person attendees that can be accommodated. We appreciate your patience as we all continue to navigate the evolving COVID considerations. If we reach the room capacity for registrations, we will create a waiting list.

Register Here

In-Person Registration is now closed. If you missed the deadline and still would like to attend in-person, please contact Rebecca Fitzgerald (State Water Board). If you would like to view the summit virtually (no participation or in-person attendance), please register here.

Pre-Summit Survey

To help inform the discussions on Day 1, and to help us achieve the overall goals for the summit, we ask all attendees to please complete a pre-conference survey. Please share your thoughts in the survey by September 6th so they can be integrated into the analysis. 

Survey Link: Click here

Survey Deadline: September 6th


The agenda can be viewed here.

Pre-Summit Reading

The volume of knowledge and information related to bacteria and water quality is significant. To further enrich each attendee’s experience, as well as support the goals of the summit itself, a curated pre-summit reading list has been developed. Certain documents may be directly discussed in a particular agenda item (if so, it is noted on the reading list). Other resources may potentially be added prior to or after the summit.

Access the Pre-Summit Reading List: Click here

Additional Information for In-Person Attendees

Travel and Parking

For more information on travel to the CalEPA Headquarters Building, please see Travel to the CalEPA Headquarters Building | CalEPA. Additionally, the City Hall Garage directly across the street is currently offering a $3/day commuter parking special, with some limitations, available at


Information on restaurants near the CalEPA Headquarters Building is available here

For lunch, a 1.5-hour break will be provided on September 14th and 15th, and a 1 hour break will be provided on September 16th. We encourage everyone to use this time to eat and recharge. To ensure we can stay on-track with the agenda each afternoon, we strongly encourage attendees to plan accordingly and return ready to re-engage.


View or download a summary of the above information for in-person attendees

Additional Information for Virtual Viewers

Virtual Meeting Links

The live meeting links for each day of the summit are posted here: CalEPA Public Webcasts

On the CalEPA website, scroll down to find the California Bacteria Summit and ensure you have selected the applicable date (as there are three days for the summit). Note that while the links are posted, they will not be live until the event itself.

Virtual Viewing and Participation 

Thank you for investing your time to stay informed and engaged. We are grateful that so many people will be able to view the summit remotely. Due to constraints of utilizing both remote viewing and in-person formats, virtual viewers will not have access to break out rooms, but the reflections from those groups will be reported out and available for all to hear. As the summit is just the first step in a long process to collectively achieve our shared goals, it is important that you are engaged. We look forward to working with everyone.


View or download a summary of the above information for virtual viewers