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L.A. County Beaches Report Card: Interactive Map

How did your favorite beach score?

The following is a water quality report from Sept. 3 to Oct. 3 compiled from data courtesy of Heal the Bay, a nonprofit environmental group.

Grades are based on an A+ to F scale. Grades indicate the likelihood of swimmers becoming ill. Water samples are analyzed for bacteria – enterococcus, total and fecal coliforms. The report does not measure the amount of trash or toxins found at local beaches.

Dark Blue Marker = A+

Light Blue Marker = A

Green Marker = B

Yellow Marker = C

Pink = D

Red Marker = F

Purple Marker = No sample taken

Mike Ruehle October 06, 2012 at 05:34 PM
Every D and F is in Long Beach. No other city had a D or an F. And because there has been no rain, none of it had to do with the LA river runoff, which is always the reason (excuse) cited by the city. Face it, Long Beach thinks the ocean is its private beachfront septic system. Any truth to the rumors Kohler will be sponsoring the upcoming Belmont Shore Christmas Parade and the Tidy Bowl man will be the master of ceremonies?
M Stanley October 06, 2012 at 06:44 PM
This version of the Beach Report Card is highly flawed. Not every location was tested and those that were not should have been flagged with the purple marker to avoid confusion by readers who use this as a service to determine public health and safety. Case in point, I'm in Malibu and have found that many of the State and County locations have not been tested as far back as the end of July!!! I offer that the report card is useless unless it is properly maintained and updated to provide the very clients they are targeting (public citizens seeking information that is current and easily deciphered) the most recent and correct data. To have the highest traffic areas of public access not tested on a regular basis in summer seems odd and highly misleading, especially given that seasonality has long been acknowledged in ocean water quality research and studies. After going to the HTB site, they acknowledge that the Report Card contains sampling of 94 sites in LA County but I don't see a lot of purple markers delineating that on the link that is being promoted on Patch. Either Patch provides the actual testing information or they drop the promotion of this Google map generated data that does not even match the data on HTB site!!! Bad information continually promoted/printed is bad journalism just like bad data input results in bad analysis.
Rob October 06, 2012 at 07:37 PM
As a daily surfer I agree. Zuma is my favorite as it is clear and free always.
Mike Ruehle October 06, 2012 at 08:36 PM
Councilman DeLong sends out emails and mailers patting himself on the back when there is a streak of time when the beaches remain open. Yet, when the beaches are closed due to raw sewage contamination, DeLong is nowhere to be found.
Mike Ruehle October 06, 2012 at 08:54 PM
Due to budget constraints, Long Beach has cut back testing except when there is a publisized sewage spill. Unfortunately, that happens fairly frequently. Are you saying the water in Malibu goes untested even when there is a known sewage spill?
Cece Stein October 07, 2012 at 02:10 AM
Hello Mike, Up here in Malibu we have had D's and fails at some locations for years. One location 50 yrds east of the Malibu pier has failed all summer. There are some here who blame that one failing test site on natural Bacteria from either Kelp wracks or bird droppings, but we have monitered that test site all summer and there is rarely any Kelp on the sand nor any significant bird populations that roost on the beach nor under the pier. Some seem to be in denial about the most likely reason and insist that antiquated third world waste treatment systems are the way of the future here , even though the coastal bluffs are no longer rural. Malibu sometimes receives 1.5 million visitors in a month and millions of gallons of their human waste gets injected into our over taxed geology. No wonder surfers get sick. What should Malibu do do? Mari, you are right we need more consistent testing and better technologies to determine pollution sources.
Mike Ruehle October 07, 2012 at 04:24 AM
Sorry to hear this Cece, who would of known? Does Heal the Bay follow this situation? What you've indicated and most people don't realize is the LA County Sanitation District sewage treatment plant outfall pipelines discharge offshore and in the LA river. With the right weather conditions, or if the treatment plant isn't doing its job right, this crap literally gets pushed back to shore and closes the beaches. Here in Long Beach, the public has been told over and over again by city officials that there is nothing they can do because the pollution is coming from up-river cities. While that may be true after a rain storm flushes the sewers out, we haven't had significant rain for months and still have a significant pollution problem. Long Beach residents don't realize there is a high likelyhood the LA County Sanitation District sewage treatment plants are overwelmed with water during a rain storm and frequently discharge sewage offshore and blame it on the cities up-river.
John B. Greet October 07, 2012 at 05:05 AM
"And because there has been no rain, none of it had to do with the LA river runoff, which is always the reason (excuse) cited by the city." Ruehle apparently spends so much time fixating upon Belmont Shore/2nd Street/Gary Delong/LBPD that he never takes a moment to notice that water runs down the Los Angeles River all day and all night, 24/7/365. Even "Heal the Bay" (which Ruehle, himself, is ever anxious to cite whenever he feels it may best suit his theses) willingly concedes that "(i)n general, beach water quality at the main beaches in Long Beach tends to be negatively impacted by the Los Angeles River." (at page 4) http://www.healthebay.org/sites/default/files/pdf/brc/reports/summer/2012/2012-BRC-Summer-Report-California.pdf "Here in Long Beach, the public has been told over and over again by city officials that there is nothing they can do because the pollution is coming from up-river cities." Ruehle, which city officials have ever said "there is nothing they can do?" Name them, specifically, and then cite your source for the comment. In it's latest report (previously cited and linked) "Heal the Bay" said: "The City of Long Beach has remained dedicated to improving beach water quality through the implementation of several mitigation projects, including at Colorado Lagoon, which has had a long history of water quality impairment." Sounds as if "Heal the Bay" has a different view of our city's efforts. Ruehle must have missed that part of the report too.
David Carini (Editor) October 07, 2012 at 05:02 PM
Stanley, I put together the map from Heal the Bay data. It is current as of every week. We provide data on most of the beaches in LA County, mostly for beaches were people go swimming. For example HTB tests LB harbor, but since many people don't swim there, we do not include the results. Also, some weeks, there is no sampling data for some beaches (thus the purple marker).
M Stanley October 07, 2012 at 06:06 PM
David Carini - it is not current as it does not reflect the purple markers indicating the sites that were not tested in the recent week. There were 94 testing samples taken and yet the graphic portrays markers leading the reader to believe that EVERY site was tested. When you click on the actual marker indicating a testing site, it clearly shows that many/most of the areas are out of date with some going back as far as Jul 28th! It gets worse...that Google Map does not jive with the HTB BRC website that posts completely different dates of testing. I haven't checked every site but I've found too many instances for it to be a small issue or an oversight. Then we even have M. Grimmer coming in to post two weeks ago stating that he will correct a misleading/incorrect label and claiming that they monitor over 500 sites yet the very official website touts only 350 sites that they monitor. Somethings just not right, not at all. I challenge the Report Card as being worthless based on what I'm finding if they can't even marry the data between the reports much less provide clear information easily deciphered by the general public for which they claim that they are disseminating the information as some public health and safety awareness campaign. This is their most visible project, it should be correct and beyond reproach but it seems that it lacks integrity based on the significant ommissions and refusal to follow the marker guidelines.
Cece Stein October 07, 2012 at 08:24 PM
Why does the Patch Map show a yellow flag that is a "C" result at Marie Canyon test site but does not show the same grade on the Heal the Bay Map? It would be prudent if Heal the Bay could determine the consistent failing test results at the Malibu Pier site. Notifying the public about poor water quality is important but identifying the source and finding a solution is even better.

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