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Beach Report Card

| posted on July 22, 2010

HEAL THE BAY’S BEACH REPORT CARD MEASURES BEST AND WORST BEACHES ALL THROUGHOUT CALIFORNIA

12TH Annual ‘Beach Report Card’ Goes Statewide for the First Time

SANTA MONICA, Calif. – Heal the Bay’s 2001-2002 Beach Report Card was released today, assigning an A to F letter grade to 394 California beaches-from Sonoma County to the Mexican border. The annual Beach Report Card is based on daily and weekly bacterial pollution levels in the surf zone, with the A-F grades based on the risk of adverse health effects to humans. This year the Beach Report Card goes statewide for the first time, bringing beachgoers throughout California up-to-date information about beaches in their area. This information is critical to public health and California’s economy, as well as to the safety of marine life.

The good news, according to the 12th annual report compiled by the Santa Monica-based environmental organization, is that 70 percent of the beaches-during dry weather conditions-received A grades.

“This past year was one of the driest years on record, leading to some excellent grades,” said Heal the Bay Executive Director Mark Gold. “Rain tends to sharply increase bacteria levels. However, while water quality was generally safer this year than in previous years, we need to remember that this is due to weather, and not necessarily a pollution decrease.”

“As a result of the dry weather only 26 beaches received an F grade this year, down from 40 beaches last year. Most of these beaches are unsafe due to poor water circulation, polluted storm water runoff and other issues, and people visiting these beaches need to be aware,” said Gold.