Heal the Bay has released its annual Beach Report Card for California beaches and, once again, the news is not good for Southern California.
Locally, four beaches were declared some of the worst in the state in the 2006-07 report. These “Beach Bummers” include Castlerock Storm Drain at Castle Rock Beach in Topanga at #2 on the bottom 10 list; Marie Canyon Storm Drain in Malibu at #3; Surfrider Beach in Malibu at #5; and Santa Monica Pier at #6. The remaining Southern California beaches in the top ten are located in Long Beach, Catalina, Santa Barbara and San Pedro. Rounding out the top ten are Northern California beaches in Bodega Bay and Half Moon Bay.
Even the super wealthy are not immune, as Marie Canyon Storm Drain abuts Malibu Colony. Says Heal the Bay’s President Mark Gold, “Beach water quality knows no geographic or economic bounds. The Beach Report Card shows that just because you go to the beach in a multi-million dollar neighborhood doesn’t guarantee it’s safe for swimming.”
Heal the Bay Staff Scientist Kirsten James had this to say for those planning to spend time at the beach this summer: “Beach-goers should check our website (healthebay.org) for the latest grades before heading to any beach. Water quality at ‘beach bummers’ such as Santa Monica Pier has been consistently poor over the last year. Swimmers are more likely to get sick at these beaches with low water quality. I would recommend choosing a beach with a high grade until water quality improvements are seen at the ‘beach bummers.’”