Heal the Bay Announces SoCal's Least and Most Polluted Beaches

Three time periods are covered in the report: April through October, November through March and year-around wet weather conditions

Get ready, Southern California. Heal the Bay announced its annual report card of the best and worst beaches throughout California for 2014 Thursday, assigning A through F letter grades to 454 locations.

Overall, beaches had excellent water quality over the past year, with 95 percent of locations receiving an A or B grades, according to the report.

In Southern California, 90 percent of beaches in LA County received good to excellent letter grades with As and Bs during the summer, dry-weather months. Fifty-percent of the same beaches recieved As and Bs during the winter, wet-weather months. That was a 2 percent fall from last years markings. 

Ventura County beaches all passed with excellent grades, each receiving A grades during the summer and winter months.

Similarily, Santa Barbara County beaches weren't far off with 100 percent of the locations tested receiveing A grades in the summer months and 94 percent receiving A or B grades in the winter months.

Orange County beaches were up six percent from last year, with 99 percent of them receiving A or B grades in the summer months and 97 percent of them receiving A or B grades in the winter months.


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Beaches that made the A list included: Venice Beach at Windward Circle, Malaga Cove at Palos Verdes, Will Rogers Beach at Pulga Canyon and The Wedge at Newport Beach. 

Along with the unveiling of the 24th annual beach report card, the envrionmental agency group listed the state’s 10 most polluted beaches on its Beach Bummer List, which has become infamous for ousting the sickest beaches in the state. Several of them fell in Southern California last year and again this year.

Beaches that made the 2014 Beach Bummer list included: Santa Monica Beach at the pier, Mother's Beach in Marina Del Rey and Cabrillo Beach, harborside in San Pedro. The report sited a malfuntioning circulation device that aided in beach water flow and bacteria dillution, which was not working most of the year, as the probable cause of unhealthy water at Mother's Beach.

Two “chronically polluted” Southland beaches, Avalon Beach in Catalina and Poche Beach in Orange County, made headway in their cleanup efforts and were removed from the 2014 Beach Bummer List, according to a statement released by the environmental agency.

They also added that eight LA County and 12 Orange County beaches made the statewide “Honor Roll” for having clean beaches and receiving A-plus grades consecutively every week for a year-long period.

The idea is the better the letter grade, the cleaner the beach, and the lower the risk of illness to the beachgoer.

Three time periods are covered in the report: April through October, November through March and year-around wet weather conditions.

In Southern California, 93 percent of beaches received grades falling between A or B last year, on par with the statewide average during the summer months, according to the 2013 report.

Abnormally low rainfall averages, attributed to the statewide drought, have resulted in less polluted runoff to ocean waters, according to the 2013 report.

Heal the Bay has released annual reports since 1990 to educate the public about pollution and environmental issues.

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