SANTA MONICA (CBSLA.com) — The view from the Santa Monica Pier may draw millions of tourists every year, but the beach itself is among the most polluted in California, according to a report released Wednesday.
One in 13 Los Angeles County beaches received grades of “C” or lower in Heal The Bay’s 2015 Beach Report Card (PDF), which named three county beaches among California’s top 10 “Beach Bummers”.
Heal The Bay assigned A-to-F letter grades to 468 beaches along the California coast for three reporting periods in 2014-2015, based on levels of weekly bacterial pollution, according to the organization.
“No one should get sick from a day at the beach,” Heal The Bay’s Sarah Sikich said. “The health cost from getting sick from swimming in polluted waters in Los Angeles and Orange counties range from twenty-one to fifty-one million dollars each year.”
In addition to the Santa Monica Pier – which was ranked the state’s sixth-worst offender – Mother’s Beach in Marina del Rey (No. 2) and Cabrillo Beach harborside (No. 9) were also named on the list.
For the first time, Huntington Beach at Brookhurst in Orange County officially became a “bummer”, along with Mission Bay in San Diego County. Ventura County, on the other hand, received straight A’s at all 39 of its beaches.
The report also found some 95 percent of beaches received A or B grades during the summer season, holding steady with findings from the previous year’s report.
Sikich told KNX 1070’s Margaret Carrero she’s hopeful a grant received by Santa Monica will turn things around.
“It will result in a project that takes both wet and dry weather runoff and diverts it away from the ocean,” Sikich said.
The report also gave failing grades to nearly one in four monitored beaches in California for wet weather in the report, a figure that Heal The Bay says raises public health concerns for the state’s growing legion of year-round surfers, paddle-boarders and divers.
Some of the state’s best beaches, in terms of cleanliness, include LA County’s Bluff Cove, Orange County’s Balboa Beach and Ventura County’s Oil Pier Beach.