Local beaches get good report cards

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Rain washes debris and bacteria onto local beaches, creating low grades for water quality during wet weather. File Photo

Local beaches, including Seal Beach, recently received A or A plus grades for dry weather water quality, according to the 2019-2020 Beach Report Card issued by Heal the Bay.

Several local beaches, including Seal Beach, received D and F grades for wet weather water quality in the annual report card.

Marine Safety (Lifeguard) Chief Joe Bailey wasn’t surprised by the report. He said that when it rains, Seal Beach is going to catch everything that comes down the San Gabriel River. Bailey said the Seal Beach Marine Safety Department advises the public to stay out of the water for 72 hours after the rain. If you do go in the water, Bailey advised the public to wash thoroughly afterward.

The report card was issued just prior to the Fourth of July weekend. The city of Seal Beach closed the beaches, the Pier, and the beach parking lots for the Fourth. Everything was reopened on Sunday.

Baily described it as a slow Sunday. “Pretty light for a holiday weekend,” he said.

As for the Beach Report Card, weather was cited as a primary reason for the results.

“The past year saw lower than average rainfall, which led to an improvement in wet weather water quality grades,” according to the Report Card.

“Less rain means fewer pollutants such as bacteria were washed into the ocean, which resulted in higher grades,” according to the Report Card.

“Grades are based on routine water quality sampling conducted by County health agencies, State agencies, Tribal agencies, sanitation departments, and dischargers on the West Coast,” according to the Report Card.

Local grades

Seal Beach received A grades for the summer and winter dry weather water quality 100 yards south of the pier, as well as at First, Eighth, and 14th streets.

Seal Beach water received D grades for wet weather water quality for the area 100 yards south of pier and at 14th Street. Both First and Eighth Street received F grades for water quality.

Surfside Beach, at Sea Way received A plus grades across the board.

Sunset Beach received A grades across the board.

Sunset Beach, at Broadway received A grades for summer and winter dry weather and for wet weather water quality, as well as for wet weather water quality, from the environmental group’s annual assessment.

Huntington Harbor’s various beaches received A and A plus grades for winter and summer dry weather water quality. They were:

Huntington Harbor at 11th Street Beach, at Coral Cay Beach,  at Davenport Beach, at Humboldt Beach, at Mothers Beach-Orange County, at Seagate Lagoon, and at Trinidad Lane Beach.

Only Seagate Lagoon received a B grade for wet weather water quality. The others received F grades.