Making the Grade

By Joyce Amaro, LA Stormwater Public Education Manager

I love the ocean. I always have. I guess it’s in my blood. My father was a officer in the Naval Reserves, having served in World War II, and growing up, my family would often spend our spring vacations on Coronado Island in San Diego, staying at the Naval Base. I have many happy memories of strolling along the shore with my father just after sunrise, scanning the beach for sand dollars at the water’s edge. So, this summer, my family and I will be spending a lot of time along the coast, splashing in the waves and soaking up some California rays. But, before we go, we’ll be sure to check out Heal the Bay’s Beach Report Card to look at the health of the beach we’re planning on visiting. The 2012 Beach Report Card is due out at the end of this week. It’s the only comprehensive analysis of coastline water quality on the West Coast, grading more than 500 beaches on an A to F system weekly based on the levels of bacteria found in the water.

A recent study by USC and UC Santa Cruz indicates that Southern California coastal waters are dramatically cleaner than they were several decades ago, which is great news for beach-loving Angelenos. LA Stormwater is committed to continuing this positive trend towards improved water quality. Using a combination of engineering, enforcement and education solutions, Los Angeles collaborates with its partners to ensure compliance with state and federal water regulations and develop programs and projects that work daily for the betterment of the water in our rivers, creeks, lakes and bays.

Be sure and check out Heal the Bay’s Beach Report Card when it comes out just before Memorial Day – the unofficial start of summer. You’ll see that we’ve come a long way in improving LA’s coastal waters. You’ll also see that there are some beaches that continue to demand our attention. With your involvement and ongoing support, we’ll get to the day when all of LA’s beaches make the grade.

Photo courtesy of Arbyreed.

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