Heal The Bay Beach Quality Scores – How Does Encinitas Rank?

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Encinitas locals heading to Moonlight Beach this summer can take comfort in beach water quality, according to the 23rd annual Beach Report Card.


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Statewide, 93% of 445 monitored beaches got an A or B summer grade and only 14 of the beaches (3%) monitored received D or F grades during summer dry weather, when most beachgoers typically use the ocean. High bacteria counts at these sites are linked to such potential illnesses as stomach flu, ear infections and major skin rashes. Some 413 beaches, or 93%, received A or B grades during the summer (April-October 2012). That figure marks a 1% uptick from the previous report.

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The improvement in statewide water quality during all three phases of the study’s 2012-13 reporting period can be attributed to several factors. Infrastructure improvements aimed at curbing bacterial pollution in dense urban centers have yielded results, but two years of very low rainfall in Southern California seems to have played a major role in improved grades. Rainstorms greatly increase the amount of urban runoff, the greatest source of bacterial pollution at local beaches.

Los Angeles County leads Heal the Bay’s annual Beach Bummer List, with four locations in the ranking of the state’s 10 most polluted beaches. Avalon Beach on Catalina Island, troubled by aging sewer infrastructure, holds the No. 1 spot for the fourth time in five years.

Avalon Beach on Catalina Island holds the No. 1 spot for the fourth time on the annual Beach Bummers list.

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