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Topanga ranked one of worst Calif. beaches

May 26, 2011 12:21:49 AM PDT
Just before the Memorial Day weekend, Heal the Bay unveiled its annual report on beaches, and it had good and bad news for Southern California.

"Overall, pretty good year despite the incredible rainfall," said Mark Gold, president of Heal the Bay.

Gold said during dry weather, 88 percent of California beaches got As and Bs - in Southern California, 91 percent of beaches received As and Bs.

During wet weather, 46 percent of California beaches received Cs, Ds and Fs - in Southern California, it was 50 percent of beaches.

"We're doing a much better job of reducing pollution during dry water, but not during storm weather," Gold said.

One of the highlights of the report was that Santa Monica was given an A. Three years ago, it was the second worst beach in the state.

Heal the Bay said Santa Monica was a prime example of how water quality can be turned around. Officials said the city did a lot of work repairing storm drains and adding extra precautions for runoff.

One of the surprising findings was that for the first time, Topanga State Beach made the list for top 10 Beach Bummers. It was ranked No. 4 for most polluted beach in California.

"It's very concerning," Gold said.

At this point, officials said they don't know why, but local experts are investigating.

L.A. County led the Beach Bummer list with four locations, including Cabrillo Beach in San Pedro, Avalon Beach on Catalina Beach and Colorado Lagoon in Long Beach. These beaches have been known to have high bacteria levels.

In Orange County, Doheny State Beach and Poche Beach also made the list.

Heal the Bay has handed out beach report for 21 years for the state's 445 beaches.

Top 10 Beach Bummers

  1. Cowell Beach at the Wharf - Santa Cruz County
  2. Avalon Harbor Beach, Catalina Island - Los Angeles County
  3. Cabrillo Beach, harborside at restrooms - Los Angeles County
  4. Topanga State Beach - Los Angeles County
  5. Poche Beach - Orange County
  6. North Beach Doheny - Orange County
  7. Arroyo Burro Beach - Santa Barbara County
  8. Baker Beach at Lobos Creek - San Francisco County
  9. Colorado Lagoon, Long Beach - Los Angeles County
  10. Capitola Beach - Santa Cruz County

To check how your favorite beach did on the report, visit http://brc.healthebay.org/.

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