California Beach Pollution Still on the Rise

Information taken from LA Times article:
California beaches face a rising tide of pollution, study finds

by: Amy Littlefield

The National Resource Defense Council (NRDC) reports a 4% increase in beach pollution violations from 2007-2008.

According to the NRDC report, which collects data through the Environmental Protection Agency, 10% of water samples at California beaches last year contained more human fecal bacteria than the state allows, creating health and sanitary issues for all beachgoers.

Bacteria can flow into beach water from sewage accidents such as the spill that forced
closures in Long Beach on Monday, but also through stormwater flowing through urban areas. The “urban runoff” pick ups animal waste, fertilizer, motor oil and other contaminants that are dumped into the ocean through our untreated waterways.

Although researchers linked 9% of contamination to sewage and 3% to storm water, the
vast majority (81%) came from unknown sources

These high bacteria levels lead to sickness and beach closures at some of the most popular tourist destinations in Southern California.

For more information on beach water quality, be sure to check out Heal the Bay’s Beach Report Card.

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