Swimmers and surfers in Southern California enjoyed cleaner beach water this year, likely due to one of the driest winters on record in the region, according to Santa Monica-based Heal the Bay’s 2012-13 study released Wednesday.
The advocacy group’s report card graded Golden State beach water quality during the summer dry weather period (April 2012 – October 2012), and during the winter dry weather (November 2012 – March 2013).
Heal the Bay is officially unveiled it's latest report card Thursday, about two weeks after the Environmental Protection Agency proposed cutting federal funding for this kind of water testing.
Beach water quality in LA County bested its own five-year average by 24 percent, to receive 57 percent A or B grades. The report notes this is likely due to the fact that this past winter was one of Southern California’s driest on record, meaning less dirty runoff water made its way to the ocean.
But despite the improvement, LA County is still home to four of the 10 dirtiest beaches in the Golden State. Among those “beach bummers” is Avalon in Catalina Island, which has held the unsavory position at No. 1 for four of the past five years.
Orange County also bested its five-year average by 15 percent. The county’s beaches received 73 percent A or B grades during wet weather, up 4 percentage points from last year.
And receiving 100 percent A grades for both dry and wet weather, Ventura County claimed the coveted spot of having the most pristine beach water in SoCal.
The top 10 “Beach Bummers,” these coastal spots received F grades:
- Avalon, Catalina Island
- Cowell Beach, Santa Cruz
- Poche Beach, Orange County
- Cabrillo Beach (harborside), LA County
- Malibu Pier, LA County
- Marina Lagoon, San Mateo County
- Doheny State Beach, Dana Point
- Redondo Beach Pier, LA County
- Windsurfer Circle, San Francisco County
- Tijuana River Mouth, San Diego County
Receiving A grades, these beaches made the water-quality honor roll:
- Leo Carillo Beach at Arroyo Sequit Creek mouth
- Zuma Beach at Zuma Creek mouth
- Las Tunas County Beach at Pena Creek
- Hermosa City Beach at 26th Street
- Palos Verdes (Bluff) Cove, Palos Verdes Estates
- Abalone Cove Shoreline Park
- Cabrillo Beach, ocean side
- Oil Piers Beach, south of the drain, bottom of the wood staircase
- Surfer’s Knoll, adjacent to parking lot
- Oxnard Beach Park at Falkirk Avenue, south of drain
- Oxnard Beach Park at Starfish Drive, south of drain
- Hollywood Beach at Los Robles Street, south of drain
- Ormond Beach, 50 yards north of Oxnard Industrial drain
- Surfside Beach, projection of Sea Way
- Balboa Beach, The Wedge
- El Moro Beach
- Blue Lagoon
- Camel Point
- Laguna Lido Beach
- 9th Street 1000 Steps Beach
- San Clemente Trafalgar Canyon