Do LA Beaches Make the Grade?

As we get close to the end of another school year, students are nervously awaiting their final grades. It’s no different here at LA Stormwater. Today Heal the Bay released their 2014 Beach Report Card and we’re proud to report that our efforts are paying off! Los Angeles is enjoying improved water quality at most local beaches, with a few beaches even making the honor roll. However, like many students, LA needs to improve its efforts at reducing pollutants at other Southland beaches. First, the good news.

Every Santa Monica Bay ocean beach scored an A or B grade during summer dry weather except for the Santa Monica Municipal Pier, which scored a D grade. Overall, Santa Monica Bay summer dry water quality was excellent. A and B grades were up 5% from the last report, with 97% of beaches from Leo Carrillo to Cabrillo Oceanside earning A or B grades. Los Angeles even improved its winter dry weather grades with 86 % of LA beaches earning an A or B grade during those cold months. That’s a 13% improvement over LA’s five-year average. 

Now to the areas where LA needs to improve – wet weather grades. Only 50% of LA beaches earned an A or B grade during wet weather grades and 40% of sample sites received F grades. Additionally, LA is home to three of the 10 locales listed on Heal the Bay’s annual Beach Bummer List, which ranks the most polluted beaches in the state. Ouch!

Statewide, California’s water quality during the summer dry time period, which is when more than 100 million people visit beaches here in the Golden State, was excellent with 95% of California beaches earning A or B grades. So where are those honor roll A+ beaches? They dot Santa Monica Bay and among others, include Will Rogers Beach at Pulga Canyon, Cabrillo Beach Oceanside, and Venice Beach at the Windward Avenue drain. Why not plan a visit to one of LA’s Honor Roll beaches this summer? You’ll be visiting an LA beach that made the grade this year!

For a full accounting of California’s beaches, please visit Heal the Bay’s 2014 Beach Report Card.

Photo courtesy of Birdman via


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