The Aquatic Capital of America
Long Beach, CA

Aquatic Capital of America was founded by Tom Shadden and other residents who were passionate and involved in the Long Beach aquatic community. Together, they conducted a data-driven study that confirmed that Long Beach, California produced more aquatic Olympians, National Champions, and World Record holders than any other city in the U.S.A.

In 2008, Long Beach City Council unanimously approved a designation of Long Beach, California as the Aquatic Capital of America.


With over seven miles of beaches in Long Beach, great ocean breezes, the calm waters of Alamitos Bay and the -restored Colorado Lagoon, and our two large marinas, residents and visitors alike enjoy water-based activities that include: diving, kayaking, kite surfing, outrigger canoeing, paddle boarding, rowing, sailing, scuba diving, swimming, water polo, water skiing, and much more!

Oh, and we cannot forget our world-class Port of Long Beach, one of the largest and most active ports in the world!

Aquatic Capital of America proudly supports and promotes the water safety education, clean water, more aquatic facilities, and regional aquatic activities in Long Beach. It also recognizes, honors, and supports aquatic participants, athletes, coaches, and organizations associated with Long Beach.


Marine Stadium was built in 1932 as the site for the 1932 Olympic rowing events. Due to the consistency and strength of the local winds, Long Beach was chosen as the site for the sailing events in the 1984 Olympic Games, and will again host sailing for the Los Angeles 2028 Olympics.

The city has also been chosen as the 2028 Olympic venue for the water polo, triathlon and marathon open water swimming events.


Aquatic Capital of America established its Hall of Fame in 2016 to preserve Long Beach's rich water-based history, and to recognize the men and women who distinguished themselves in accomplishing extraordinary levels of success in their aquatic endeavors.

The Aquatic Capital of America Hall of Fame also serves to inspire future generations of aquatic athletes, coaches and officials. Eligibility requirements for induction into the Aquatic Capital of America Hall of Fame requires the athlete, coach administrator, official or administrator to have:
Participated or contributed to aquatics at a National or International level; and lived, attended school, or associated with an aquatic club in Long Beach, California.

Athletes must be retired from competition for four years before being eligible for induction.


One of the primary visions of Aquatic Capital of America is seeing that every child in Long Beach is a swimmer. No matter what your favorite water activity is, knowing how to swim saves lives. 

Another vision, in collaboration with the City of Long Beach officials, is the rebuilding the Belmont Plaza Olympic Pool in the same location as the original, but with much more water space and more recreational/play features to help meet the growing demand for safe water space in Long Beach. 

Once constructed, another goal is to establish a permanent venue to house the Aquatic Capital of America Hall of Fame at the new facility.