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Beach Report Card rates West Coast water quality

May 23, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
With the Memorial Day holiday weekend coming up, a lot of people are thinking about the beach. Heal the Bay released its annual report card on water quality Thursday.

Heal the Bay's 23rd annual Beach Report Card says that overall, local water quality is pretty good.

"We see that 93 percent of the beaches statewide are receiving 'A' and 'B' grades in the summer dry weather," said Kirsten James, Heal the Bay water quality director.

Part of the reason for the good grades is that dry weather.

"Urban runoff is the number one source of coastal pollution, so when you don't have those rain events flushing the pollution down to the coast, we tend to see higher grades," said James.

One of the best performing beaches this year? Hermosa Beach, which installed a 1,000-foot-long strand infiltration trench in 2010.

"This award-winning project processes runoff through a pre-treatment system which removes trash, sediment and hydrocarbons," said Hermosa Beach City Councilman Jeff Duclos. "We are very proud of it."

But other Southland beaches still need a lot of work.

Four Los Angeles County beaches landed on Heal the Bay's "Beach Bummer" list. Among them: Avalon on Catalina Island; Cabrillo Beach (harborside); Malibu Pier; and Redondo Beach Pier.

In Orange County, Poche and Doheny State Beach in Dana Point are among the beaches Heal the Bay says you may want to avoid.

It was an "F" grade at Topanga State Beach that kept Katie Witt and her daughter away for several months. But now that Topanga has a "B" rating, they're back.

"That's really great. We really love this beach. The kids love this beach. It's always nice and quiet here, there's not a lot of people, so I'm glad that we can start coming back regularly," said Witt.


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