LA County beaches again earn low marks

By on January 11, 2020

first_imgLos Angeles County earned low marks again this year on Heal the Bay’s annual beach report card, despite predictions that the region’s record-low rainfall might make for an overall cleaner coastline. The environmental group picked a stretch of clean sand in Manhattan Beach today to reveal its 17th annual report – which comes just in time for the start of the summer season. It compiles grades from more than 350 locations year-round and 492 spots in dry weather from April to October. This year’s grades delivered good and bad surprises for Los Angeles County beaches, Heal the Bay Executive Director Mark Gold said. “We all thought it was going to be the best water quality on record, because we’ve only had 4 inches of rain … and it was true in other parts of the state,” Gold said. But not in Los Angeles, where only a little over half of the county’s beaches earned A’s and B’s. High achievers include Zuma Beach at Zuma Creek, which earned A’s in both dry and wet weather, as well as the shoreline east of the Malibu Pier, which turned C’s and D’s into A’s and B’s. As was the case last year, the county raised the bar for its monitoring program and collected samples directly from flowing storm drains and creeks. But Gold said that the lower scores can’t necessarily be attributed to that change. Many of the areas monitored don’t have flowing storm drains, yet their ratings still suffered. The county’s main problem spot is Long Beach, where 80 percent of that city’s monitoring locations earned fair to poor grades on the 2006-07 report card, weighing down the average significantly. Of that city’s 25 beaches, 22 earned either C, D or F grades. This year, Long Beach topped Heal the Bay’s list of “Beach Bummers,” which includes 10 sites, seven in Los Angeles County: Castle Rock storm drain near Pacific Palisades, Marie Canyon storm drain in Malibu, Avalon on Catalina Island, Surfrider in Malibu, the Santa Monica Pier and the harbor side of San Pedro’s Cabrillo Beach. “Long Beach has never been on the Top 10 list, but something has changed dramatically this past year,” Gold said. “That was something that was a huge shock to all of us … Clearly, something needs to happen right away.” But the report card had some notable good news as well: Will Rogers Beach at Santa Monica Canyon earned a B this year for dry-weather scores, up from an F last year, Gold noted. To read the beach report click here.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

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