Los Angeles County had three beaches land on the environmental group’s Beach Bummer List of the 10 most polluted beaches statewide. Coming in third was the Santa Monica Pier, which returned to the list after being left off the list last year.
Two stretches of Mother’s Beach in Marina del Rey also made the list of dirtiest beaches. Heal the Bay says poor water has persisted at that beach since the report card started 30 years ago. Officials say the beach is enclosed in the marina with little water circulation to flush out any bacteria pollution.
The top two most polluted beaches on the list are in the Bay Area’s San Mateo County. Orange County had one beach land on the Bummer List — Newport Bay at Vaughn’s Launch.
A full copy of the report can be found online.
A total of 51 beaches around the state landed on Heal the Bay’s Honor Roll, indicating top-rate water quality grades recorded year-round. Orange County led the way with 19 beaches making the cut, up from 10 last year. Los Angeles County had six beaches on the list, down from seven last year.
Orange County beaches making the list were Dana Point Harbor Youth Dock, Dana PointHarbor Guest Dock, Poche, Doheny, Doheny State Beach at the end of the park, Doheny State Beach at the last campground, Corona Del Mar, Crystal Cove, Marine Science Institute, Dana Point Capistrano County Beach, Doheny State Beach pedestrian bridge, Dana Strands, Huntington City Beach at 17th Street, Bolsa Chica Reserve at flood gates, Surfside Beach at Sea Way, San Clemente at Avenida Calafia, Salt Creek, Laguna Lido and Treasure Island.
In Los Angeles County, beaches making the grade were Venice City Beach at Brooks Avenue, Rancho Palos Verdes Long Point, Royal Palms State Beach, Palos Verdes Estates at Malaga Cove Trail outlet, Las Tunas County Beach at Pena Creek and Nicholas Beach at San Nicholas Canyon Creek.
According to Heal the Bay, 94% of California beaches tested for water quality received A or B grades during summer of 2021, which the environmental group called roughly on par with the five-year average. During wet weather, however, only 66% of California beaches had good or excellent grades, which is slightly above the annual average, but “still very concerning,” according to Heal the Bay.
“It is wonderful news that most beaches in California have good water quality for swimming,” Tracy Quinn, president/CEO of Heal the Bay said in a statement.
“But there are areas with poor water quality that need improvement and infrastructure upgrades. We can’t forget that our marine ecosystems are still threatened by the climate crisis and other pollution sources, and we need solutions to address these pressing issues as well. We expect people to increasingly seek out ocean shorelines and freshwater swimming holes to cool off as temperatures rise, so safe, clean and healthy water is needed now more than ever.”
Heal the Bay officials said polluted ocean water can present a major health risk for swimmers and surfers. According to the group, people who enter water receiving a C grade or lower in Heal the Bay’s report are at higher risk of illnesses including stomach flu, ear infections, upper respiratory infections and rashes.
City News Service contributed to this report.
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