SANTA MONICA (CBSLA.com) — Ocean water quality at Southern California beaches continues to improve in part because the drought causes less rain runoff, according to a report released Thursday by Heal the Bay.
But Los Angeles and Orange counties are still home to 4 of the 10 most-polluted beaches in the state, the environmental group said.
According to its “2015-16 Beach Report Card,” 92 percent of Los Angeles County’s 88 beaches scored A or B grades in terms of pollutants during the summer months of April to October of last year.
The results were roughly on par with the previous year’s results, but a 6-percent boost over the county’s average for the past five years.
Three beaches in Los Angeles County made the “Beach Bummer” list of the state’s most polluted beaches:
- Santa Monica Pier
- Mother’s Beach in Marina del Rey
- Redondo Municipal Pier
Orange County had one beach on the most-polluted list — Monarch Beach in the Dana Point area.
“A day at the beach shouldn’t make anyone sick,” said Leslie Griffin, chief water quality scientist for Heal the Bay. “The reassuring news is that if you swim at an open-ocean beach in the summer away from storm drains, creek mouths and piers you stand very little risk of getting ill.”
According to Heal the Bay, swimming at a polluted beach can increase the risk of illness such as stomach flu, ear infections, upper respiratory infections and rashes.
The organization suggested avoiding creek mouths, piers, storm drains and enclosed beaches.
Statewide, 95 percent of the 456 beaches monitored earned A or B grades during the summer months.
Los Angeles County had 5 beaches on the “Honor Roll,” recognizing beaches that received A+ grades:
- El Matador State Beach at Encinal Canyon
- Escondido State Beach east of Escondido Creek
- Long Point at Rancho Palos Verdes
- Abalone Cove Shoreline Park in Rancho Palos Verdes
- Portuguese Bend Cove in Rancho Palos Verdes.
Orange County had 12 beaches on the “Honor Roll”:
- El Moro Beach
- Crescent Bay Beach
- Victoria Beach
- Camel Point
- Laguna Lido Apt.
- Three Arch Bay
- Marine Science Institute Beach
- Dana Point (projection of Camino Estrella)
- Dana Point (south Capistrano Bay Community Beach)
- San Clemente at Avenida Calafia
- San Clemente at Avenida Las Palmeras
- Dana Point Harbor Youth Dock