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San Diego beaches among the top in water quality

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beach2As all San Diegans have known all along, we have some of the finest, cleanest beaches in the world. Heal the Bay, an organization that engages in environmental cleanups and ranks different aspects of coastal ecology, named seven local beaches to its annual honor roll of beaches ranked by how clean the water is.

Honored are La Jolla’s Windansea Beach and Playa del Norte, Oceanside’s Saint Malo Beach and Point Loma near the lighthouse. Also named are four Carlsbad beaches including those at the ends of Cerezo Drive, Poinsettia Lane and Ponto Drive.

The study upon which the rankings are based was conducted during the twelve months from April of 2013 to March of this year. One interesting finding was the notable differences in clean and dirty water corresponding to similar changes in dry and wet weather. When it rains, more toxins are washed off into the ocean, lowering the water quality.beach3

Nearly every beach area in San Diego County was given an A or A- grade in water quality during dry weather. Along with the Honor Roll beaches only certain coastal areas in Solana Beach, La Jolla, Ocean Beach and Encinitas received scores higher than B at times of storm conditions Three very low scores of F occurred during rainy conditions and were given to Forster Street beach in Oceanside, at the mouth of the Tijuana River near the Mexican border, and Loma Alta Creek’s Buccaneer Beach. A D grade was received by the Monument Road beach.

Not a single one of the the ten least clean beaches identified by Heal the Bay are located in San Diego County.

beach4Overall, the annual survey reported that water quality at the California coast is better than the previous year, even in times of wetness. The biggest threat to water quality in San Diego continued to be the pollution caused by runoff from the Tijuana River.

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