A pollution report card on California's beaches

-  When it comes to biologically bad beaches, according to Heal the Bay, seven of California's top ten "baddest" bummer beaches are in Northern California. Of the entire statewide bottom 10, four Bay Area beaches rank as the most polluted. 

Heal the Bay evaluated 459 beaches statewide that get 100 million visitors a year including 118 Northern California beaches.

In Northern California, two bummer Beaches are in Humboldt County and one is in Santa Cruz County and four are in San Mateo County.

The Bay Area's most polluted beach and California's second most polluted beach, is Lakeshore Beach in San Mateo. Two reasons: poor water circulation and high bacteria counts

"Weak circulation and muted waves lowers the dilution rate at the site which can exacerbate poor water quality," said Vu.

At number three: Linda Mar Beach on the Pacific due to polluted runoff from nearby San Pedro Creek.

Beach sites located at the mouth of flowing streams and creeks often have elevated bacteria levels due to many pollution sources draining out of the creek and into the ocean," said Vu.

"I don't like it because, obviously come here every week to surf and with my family and my kids, so yeah, I don't like it if it's polluted, of course," said Theirry Ascarez, a frequent Linda Mar Beach visitor. 

Number five: Half Moon Bay's Roosevelt Beach with high bacteria counts when it rains.

Number ten: Half Moon Bay's Surfer's Beach also with high bacteria when it rains. "Rain flushes contaminant and bacteria sources from our streets including fertilizer, pet waste and automotive fluids into our waterways," said Vu. "We do kind of have an idea of it, but it's really disheartening just because we re a small little town and we make our money off the beach," said Kallista Leonardos of Half Moon Bay. 

But fear not because the reports is mostly stellar. In fact, Bean Hollow state Beach near Pescadero, in San Mateo County, was rated A plus; one of the state's consistently cleanest beaches.

"96 percent of the 400-plus beaches monitored throughout California during the summer dry weather, which runs from April through October received very good to excellent A, B grades. In Northern California, 88% of the 96 monitored beaches received an A or B grade during the summer months," said Vu

The good news: you can check out real time pollution levels at four popular beaches including San Francisco's Ocean Beach, Rio Del Mar and Cowell beaches near Santa Cruz as well as Leffenholtz Beach in Humboldt County. I It's on Heal the Bay's web site: https://beachreportcard.org
 

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