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California's most polluted beaches in LA, OC - New report

May 24, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
A new report says nine out of California's 10 most polluted beaches are in Los Angeles and Orange counties.

The latest report from Heal the Bay indicates beaches like Avalon Harbor Beach in Avalon tops the so-called Beach Bummer list. Surfrider Beach in Malibu is one of seven L.A. County beaches on Heal the Bay's bummer list for worst-polluted beaches. In fact, Malibu is home to five of the seven most polluted beaches on the list. In Orange County, Doheny State Beach and Poche Beach are also on the list.

But it's not all bad news. Long Beach is not on the list after making some big improvements.

Heal The Bay points out Long Beach has done a lot to clean up its water. Ninety-seven percent of the city's beaches have a range of A and B grades, which is up 27 percent from a couple of years prior. Long Beach invested $16 million in federal and state grant money used to clean up the water.

"We've made improvements with our storm drain, our treatment systems on the storm drain, we also went upstream and worked with upstream cities and encouraged them to improve their storm water catchment systems to get to this point," said Dr. Suja Lowenthal with the Long Beach City Council.

Heal the Bay says that overall, there has been some improvements to local beaches.

"Eighty-two percent of L.A. beaches monitored during the summer dry weather period [received] A and B grades," said Kirsten James of Heal the Bay. "This is a 7 percent improvement since last year."

One reason for that is a $5 million sewer line project to divert runoff from the ocean is one reason why city beaches are cleaner.

Anyone heading to the beach can also utilize a beach report card app available for smartphones that will tell you just how clean your favorite beach is.

"Our grades are updated every Friday before the weekend year round," said Michael Grimmer with Heal the Bay, who added that the app uses the phone's GPS to show you the grades of the beaches near you.

But when it comes to the cleanest shoreline, Long Beach doesn't take the cake. The cleanest beaches in Southern California can be found in Ventura County. Not one of their beaches fell below a B grade on Heal the Bay's list.


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