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Santa Monica Pier Beach Makes "Bummer" List, Again


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By Jorge Casuso

June 8, 2018 -- For the sixth year in a row, the beach around the Santa Monica Pier was named one of the ten most polluted beaches in California, according to Heal the Bay's 2018 report card released Thursday.

The Pier Beach ranked seventh on the list of "Top 10 Beach Bummers," marking the seventh time it makes the list in the past ten years.

The Pier Beach received an F during wet weather, and fared nearly as poorly during dry weather, scoring a D during the summer and an F during the winter dry weather, according to the report.

Santa Monica Pier
Santa Monica Pier (Courtesy Heal the Bay)

The beach near the Pico/Kenter storm drain and the Ocean Park Beach at the Ashland Avenue drain also received an F during wet weather, although both beaches received an A+ during the summer and and A during the winter dry weather.

"The poor wet weather grades compared to dry weather grades demonstrates the impact of stormwater runoff on beach water quality," the report said.

The Santa Monica beaches at the Montana Avenue drain, the Wilshire Boulevard drain and at Strand Street in front of the restrooms all received A+ grades during wet winter weather.

The three beaches also received A+ grades during dry summer weather and A grades during dry winer weather.

"After a remarkably wet winter in 2017, California experienced less than average rainfall this year," the report said. "Less rain meant wet weather beach grades saw overall improvements throughout the state.

"While summer dry weather grades were also excellent, winter dry weather grades were worse than the five-year average."

Rainfall flushes pollutants from streets and roadways into the ocean, increasing the risk of "contracting illnesses such as ear infections, upper respiratory infections, skin rashes, and the stomach flu, Heal the Bay officials said.

Swimmers should stay out of the water for at least three days following at least 0.10 inches of rain, according to California coastal Health Departments and Heal the Bay.

Last year, the Santa Monica Pier Beach was the sixth-worst offender on the Beach Bummer list ("Santa Monica Pier Remains on Heal the Bay’s Beach Bummer List," June 16, 2017).

It earned an F during wet weather and dry winter conditions and a D during dry summer weather from April to October. In 2016, the Pier Beaach was ranked fifth.

“Despite many projects to improve beach water quality, the Santa Monica Pier continues to be a mainstay on the Beach Bummer list,” Heal the Bay’s report said last year.

“Moist conditions under the Pier, flocks of birds and storm drain runoff are the likely culprits.”


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