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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 Aug. 12 to Sept. 12 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

Wendi Werner September 16, 2012 at 06:16 PM
@ Stuart. You are on point. We must demand that these testing methods be updated to today's science. Bird poop is natural occurring bacteria. Not to mention the decay in the kelp wracks that also being ignored. Testing must be modified to separate natural bacteria rather than the "inclusionary" factors that are currently employed. I can't wait for the students that did this study, to enter the workforce with their knowledge.
Cece Stein September 16, 2012 at 06:26 PM
The Cal Poly study of the Pismo beach area indicating high bacteria counts had a roosting population of 400 plus pigeons under the pier. That is not the case at the Malibu pier. Bird droppings does not account for the stench of human waste below the houses built up on poles east from Malibu Road to Las Tunas at low tide.
Wendi Werner September 16, 2012 at 07:15 PM
Sometimes water quality issues are very complex in natural environments. The problem is that the advocates are only pointing their fingers at the municipalities, when they need to force Park agencies to manage their properties with the same degree of obligation. Environmental advocates force the city of Santa Monica (at their pier) to control birds and fish heads, but completely look the other way when State Parks fails to apply the same controls at Malibu Pier. State Parks is responsible for the pier concession. They have the power and responsibility to make sure their tenants do the right thing, but they don't. The message that we need to acknowledge is that natural bacteria from the mounds of kelp is there. This is true with many piers up and down the coast.
J. Flo September 16, 2012 at 09:40 PM
Malibu, which is primarily on septic systems, has the vast majority of beach ratings at A+, with a few A's. One single spot with a problem. It's clear that septic systems at this time, are not destroying the excellent quality of over 96% beach water across this city. One has to wonder at motives that continually and loudly insist that they are, despite maps and testing clearly showing otherwise. Most people understand that in rainy months lawn, car, street, garbage and chemical run-off from miles inland account for lowered grades. Wendi, do you have any thoughts on this? I'm very curious.
hellwood September 16, 2012 at 11:11 PM
it could be the millions of mussels on the pilings?
Cece Stein September 16, 2012 at 11:46 PM
Surfers are the canary in the coal mine, they are the ones who are exposed to pathogens and getting sick from urban runoff, sewage spills and breaches with overloaded septic systems. Thank goodness local surfers at Rincon on the Ventura /SB county line, who were getting sick from faulty beach front septics on the point put pressure on local municipalities to hook up to a sewer system. The Residents bitched and moaned but now surfers don't have to have pacemakers installed into there chest cavities ( Ken Seino - Surfrider ), or experience dysentery at the rate as before. Read about local DDS Bob Perkins' horrendous experience and sickness after being in the water at Escondido Beach where there is no water testing being performed. Malibu is 27 miles long yet less than 1 test site per mile. Every low lying septic in high water tables should be tested with the latest DNA, DYE or Radium technology, just as cars need to pass smog test every few years and just as old cars pollute more than new ones, antiquated septics pollute the environment more. Read the Patch post from Bob Perkins EXACTLY ONE YEAR AGO TODAY. Scary! http://malibu.patch.com/blog_posts/toxic-soup-at-escondido-beach READ THIS POST AND THE COMMENTS.
Kris Gardikis September 17, 2012 at 08:54 PM
@hellwood... Seriously?? Dude, YOU are what is wrong with this country. Sounds like sour grapes on your end. Jut saying.
hellwood September 17, 2012 at 10:03 PM
hey kris! you seem friendly. why havent we ever met? i am whats wrong with the country? Ive never seen you at any of the meetings with the mayor and city manager to discuss solutions to big problems here in malibu...what have you done lately to be a part of the solution rather that part of the problem? bold statement on your part.
hellwood September 17, 2012 at 10:54 PM
...rather "than". Kris, you do realize that naturally occurring bacteria (bird poo) isnt exempt and can fail a beach, right? that was heal the bays brilliant idea. so we better chase all the lizards, snakes, and coyotes around with pooper scoopers or the city gets a hefty fine for a failing grade when it washes into the ocean? get it??
Kris Gardikis September 18, 2012 at 12:36 AM
@hellwood... Actually, I'm very friendly thank you. No you won't see me in Malubu, but you will definitely see me, both during costal clean up days, and many other random days, on my own or with others picking up the trash on the beaches in SM, Venice or Playa, as well as working alongside folks trying to help preserve the coastal wetlands... It truly appears that you're attacking Heal The Bay as if they are the enemy, why is that? Your negative comment about the afore mentioned entity, that is trying to help, is what sparked my comment. Sorry if I misjudged your comment, but you come across a tad harsh. Again, nope you won't see me in Malibu, I'm one of those annoying middle-class folks who volunteers a good deal of my time trying to make the world a better place. Enjoy your week.
hellwood September 18, 2012 at 04:24 AM
Kris, thanks for caring about our ocean. we all want the same results and are passionate about our incredible ocean. my point is regarding being proactive, not reactive. heal the bay could be leaning on producers of the disposable crap that ends up in the ocean and getting the message out with all their $$$$$$$$$. instead, they are behind the bulldozing of our endangered wetlands by calling them "sick", "dying", or "nonfunctional". they are stripping local kayak and shore fishermen of their right to fish, even though most of us release our fish. Their biologists say that these areas are over fished yet the scientific community with no profit to gain will all tell you that the low fish counts are due to the chain reaction effects of the pollution killing the reefs. we all care. please research who you are aligning yourself with. heal the bay isnt who they used to be...and I dont quite get the middle class comment, but thanks again for your efforts to help our ocean.
Cece Stein September 18, 2012 at 04:06 PM
Heal the Bay is a little more pro active than the MLO as far as environmental clean up goes. The numbers of tons of trash picked up every year is impressive. Heal the Bay is instrumental in supporting the removal of trash and road fill that destroyed another wetlands back in the 30's and 40's. As the Restoration Project progresses on time and under budget without loss of any fish or bird life, it is shocking to understand to what degree the Western Channels Wetlands was used as a dump. As the excavation continues with cleaning out the piles of concrete and asphalt chunks, diesel fuel tanks, creosoted poles, cars parts, tractor tires, ceramic sewer pipes, building materials and thousands of cubic yards of Cal Trans road fill you begin to see why the wetlands was deemed so dysfunctional and toxic to microorganisms in the food chain. Had Heal the Bay existed in the 30's and 40's, developers would not have gotten away with using the western channels as the town dump.
hellwood September 18, 2012 at 07:11 PM
Heal the Bay wants cities to adhere to new TMDL standards that are unattainable in order to initiate lawsuits that will lead to $$$$$$$$$$$$$$. then we have the state owned coastal properties that are exempt, who can pollute at will, but the second the pollution hits the beach, its our problem, and we get sued. wake up people
hellwood September 18, 2012 at 07:18 PM
62 cities have come forward who cant comply with the naturally occurring bacteria being unfairly included in the TMDL: http://www.smdp.com/proposed-pollution-standards-could-drain-city-coffers/85228 this is just the beginning and there will be a fight
Kris Gardikis September 19, 2012 at 09:23 PM
Maybe a look into the McMansions and areas within the coastal communities and see if they are possible a large part of the cause... I used the "middle class" comment in referring to Malibu, due to the fact that they the ultra rich who reside within, I believe thay call it The Cove, seem to think they own Malibu and its beaches, god forbid you would want to walk along the beach only to have some crazy yayhoo chasing after you threatening to call the cops. No offense but there isn't much in Malibu but PCH, bad parking etc. So no I don't frequent the beaches there as much as others. I feel like Heal The Bay is getting trashed over trying to help, however I see your point as well. How is the Lagoon/wetlands project coming along over there? Such a shame that it has been used as a dump for so many years... I worked on a small anthropological survey there some years back.
hellwood September 19, 2012 at 10:18 PM
there are large modern mansions and plenty of small run down homes built in the 30's here in malibu. im not sure how fair it would be to blame the rich because there is only one "F" in malibu, and its nowhere near any McMansions. Whether or not the lagoon was used for a dump is irrelevant because every big rainstorm dumps tons of more garbage from the upper watershed, and this will never change because it IS a dump that mother nature created. only humans are arrogant enough to think that digging it up and misplacing all of the animals is what mother nature would want...and BTW the lagoon is officially dead now, and that is how its coming along.
Kris Gardikis September 19, 2012 at 10:39 PM
Wow, my first impression was right... You're a real pleasant guy. Seriously??? Relax, sarcastic is not a good color for you.
hellwood September 19, 2012 at 10:47 PM
why are you so bent on sewers?????? they are OLD technology and WASTE water. there are a lot of places where the land shifts and moves, so they will have to be dug up, repaired, and constantly maintained. add the fact that at sea level, there will need to be pump stations which will waste energy and pollute. what a nightmare!! please open your mind and research some cutting edge alternatives. if we put our heads together and think ahead of the curve, maybe we wont have to do this thing properly after a big and costly mistake.
hellwood September 19, 2012 at 10:52 PM
i dont feel like i was being sarcastic, but ok...
Joey G. September 20, 2012 at 12:47 AM
I am a long-time supporter of Heal the Bay, and I have to correct some misinformation I'm seeing here. Heal the Bay has a long history of working with cities to clean up our water rather than suing them. As long as I can remember, Heal the Bay is NOT in the business of suing anybody to make money – it just wants to make sure that the Clean Water Act is upheld. TMDLs give cities up to 25 years to comply to make sure that water quality goals are met. The goals are in place to protect us – beachgoers – and marine life. Without these TMDLS, the ocean would be in much worse shape and there would be no mechanism to hold cities accountable for doing the right thing. Don't trash them for trying to protect us while some cities are throwing away tons of money to fight regs that protect water quality.
hellwood September 20, 2012 at 12:57 AM
RE: Kris "No offense but there isn't much in Malibu but PCH, bad parking etc." I feel sorry for you if this is really what you think of Malibu. are you from the east coast? ...and have you ever actually been chased down the beach by someone threatening to call the cops?
hellwood September 20, 2012 at 01:01 AM
Joey ...so you suggest sanitizing nature? ...because natural occurring bacteria isn't excluded and is a liability for every city.
hellwood September 20, 2012 at 01:02 AM
Hey Joey, how do you suggest we prevent natural occurring bacteria?
hellwood September 20, 2012 at 01:15 AM
raking seaweed off of the beaches? haha! that is exactly what heal the bay is pushing. doesnt this say enough about their attempt to waste money and play "GOD", throwing nature out of balance in the process? what a joke. there are real pollution problems in this world, and heal the bay could really make a difference, but they have other plans. if they could shut down surfing, diving, boating, and fishing, they would in a flash. its in the works as we speak
Cece Stein September 20, 2012 at 03:02 AM
Hellwood you do sound HARSH. Can you PLEASE present the facts and evidence that Heal the Bay is in the works of shutting down surfing, diving and boating ( you can still dive boat and surf in the protected Marine Sanctuaries... and oh yeah, I don't think you can consider tractor tires, ceramic sewer pipes, diesel fuel storage tanks, asphalt, concrete, creosoted telephone poles, building materials from the 30's and 40's, high levels of chlorine and thousands of cubic yards of Cal Trans clay sediments is like naturally occurring bacteria that Mother Nature has flushed into a once functioning Wetlands?? As far as I know only Beaches and Harbor are giddy on raking the seaweed off the beaches. Can you present evidence to the contrary? As far as I have heard, Shelly Luce at SMBRF wants Snowy Plovers to have seaweed wracks left untouched on the beach.
Kris Gardikis September 20, 2012 at 04:20 AM
@Hellwood... No I'm not from the east coast", nice assumption though, you seem to like to throw you seem to assume quite a bit. To tour second question, why Tess Hellwood, I have... Imagine that!?!?! Yes I'm being a tad sarcastic, you're so abrasive that it's hard not to be. @ Cece Stein... Well said, I just dint have it in me to deal with combative people who just want to vent. That beIng said, my eyes are tired and my energy is better spent elsewhere. Cheers to hopefully agreeing that if nothing else, our beaches, bays and wetlands need to be taken care of under the watchful eyes of the caring public. Bless.
Kris Gardikis September 20, 2012 at 04:23 AM
Sheesh nice typos Krissy... My eyes really are tired, the cracked screen on the ole iPhone doesn't help either :-)
hellwood September 20, 2012 at 05:25 AM
remember this? http://malibu.patch.com/articles/pink-tags-warn-kayaks-and-surfboards-to-be-moved anyways cece, all of those things that were dumped are not good, but are basically found in nature anyways. tar is found in high concentrations oozing out of all kinds of rock formations all over southern california's coastline, and it washes up on the beaches all day long. concrete is basically sand and stones, ceramic is clay, telephone poles are wood, asphalt is found in nature. the tires are not good, but the fish like them for shelter, and I doubt there is any diesel left in those tanks. how hazardous is this stuff? its not contaminating drinking water and nobody is eating any of it. you are acting like the lagoon was a toxic waste dump. seaweed raking coming up next...
hellwood September 20, 2012 at 02:39 PM
are you going to have the pier removed as well? every piece of wood on that pier is treated...how much grease, oil, and fuel will be dripping off those atmosphere killing bulldozers and other equipment at the lagoon during the 6 month "restoration"? what about all of the cars in the parking lot leaking oil every day right into the dirt at the lagoon? seems like you are trading one problem for another and overlooking others
Wendi Werner September 22, 2012 at 03:42 AM
Then start a movement to stop racking zuma as it now shows to be a snowy plover habitat.

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