Santa Monica's Heal the Bay has issued its 16th annual Beach Report Card, documenting the water quality at Southern California's beaches-- though "quality" may not be exactly the right word, since the report card lists SoCal's top ten beaches in terms of water pollution. This year, Los Angeles County is the clear winner in the bacterial sweepstakes, capturing a whopping 8 of the 10 places on the list. But coming in at lucky number 7, ensuring OC gets its share of the shame, is Doheny State Beach in Dana Point. Disappointing? Yes. Revolting? You bet. But in its own foul and diseased way, it's also somewhat hopeful.
Last year, Doheny State Beach came in at number 1, in a tie with the exceptionally nasty San Diego combo of Imperial Beach/Tijuana Slough/Border Field State Park. And last year, Doheny wasn't Dana Point's only contribution to the list: Baby Beach at Dana Point Harbor came bouncing in at number 6. For two years before that Doheny had had the top spot to itself (with the Dana Point's Baby Beach lurking lower in the top ten each year), after sharing the number 1 ranking (warning: pdf. file) with Santa Barbara's Arroyo Quemada in the 2001-2002 list (DP's Baby Beach was number 6).
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So congratulations Dana Point, you are officially no longer as disgusting as you used to be.