Heal the Bay has released its annual report card of California beach water quality. Each of Orange County's beaches has received a grade, and the 88-page report has some other info on the county. Let's break it down:
We've got two "beach bummers." On Heal the Bay's list of the top 10 worst beaches in the state, Poche Beach in San Clemente comes in seventh and Doheny State Beach in Dana Point comes in tenth. Not great. Doheny received two F's and a D; Poche got F's across the board.
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The Baby Beach: safe for babies again. This is actually amazing. Everyone in South County knows that you only go in the water at Dana Point Harbor's "Baby Beach" if you need to get an illness to avoid school or work for some reason. It received F's over they years, but last year the notorious west end of the Baby Beach eked out a C. But in 2009, Baby Beach got straight A's from April to October, and during year-round dry weather. Dana Point recently received a federal earmark to study pollution in the area, so that might help prevent this year's grade from being a fluke.
Orange County's doing alright. Its most important scores were a lot higher than its past-five-year average. Ninety-seven percent of the OC monitoring locations tested clean during the legally mandated testing period from April to October, as did 94% during year-round dry weather: Stretches of Orange County ocean beaches with excellent water quality during the summer dry weather time period were: Seal Beach at 1st Street all the way to Doheny Beach north of San Juan Creek, and Avenida Pico south to Las Palmeras at San Clemente City and State Beaches.
There's hope for the bummers. Doheny Beach is in year two of a comprehensive three-year study to understand the effects of pollution there. Poche recently had a disinfecting system installed at it.
We got 25 beaches on the honor roll. Find out which ones below:
Surfside Beach, projection of Sea Way
Sunset Beach, projection of Broadway
Bolsa Chica Beach across from the Reserve Flood Gates
Huntington Harbor, Trinidad Lane Beach
Newport Bay, Newport Dunes-West
Newport Bay, Sapphire Avenue Beach
Newport Bay, Abalone Avenue Beach
Newport Bay, 19th Street Beach
Newport Bay, 15th Street Beach
Newport Bay, 10th Street Beach
Newport Bay, Alvarado/ Bay Isle Beach
Little Corona Beach
Crystal Cove (CSDOC)
Crystal Cove (weekly)
El Morro Beach
Crescent Bay Beach
Laguna Main Beach
Laguna Lido Apt.
9th St. 1000 Steps Beach
Dana Strand Beach (AWMA)
Ocean Institute Beach (SERRA)
San Clemente, Trafalgar Street Beach
Dana Point Harbor, Guest Dock - End (West Basin)