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Heal the Bay Beach Report Card

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  • Paul Jenkin
    In dry weather, the beaches are generally pretty good. In wet weather, all bets are off, said Paul Jenkin, a campaign coordinator for the Ventura County
    Message 1 of 1 , May 22, 2008
      "In dry weather, the beaches are generally pretty good. In wet
      weather, all bets are off," said Paul Jenkin, a campaign coordinator
      for the Ventura County chapter of the Surfrider Foundation. "It's
      clear that local governments can take actions to reduce the urban
      runoff," he said. "It really takes a change in the way business is
      done by public agencies. It takes going back and retrofitting the
      existing storm drain infrastructure. The drains have been designed to
      put it all in the ocean."

      To see the Heal the Bay Report go to: http://www.healthebay.org/brc/annual/default.asp

      County beaches again rated cleanest
      Heal the Bay gives an A to all but Rincon, which receives a B grade

      By Tony Biasotti
      Thursday, May 22, 2008
      http://www.venturacountystar.com/news/2008/may/22/county-beaches-again-rated-cleanest/

      Ventura County's beaches are, as usual, the cleanest in Southern
      California, according to a water-quality report released Wednesday.

      The environmental group Heal the Bay's "Beach Report Card" assigned
      grades of A to F to 517 beaches on the California coast, based on
      levels of bacteria during testing from April 2007 to March 2008. All
      but one of the 56 Ventura County beaches rated an A when tested during
      the spring and summer months. The exception, Rincon Beach, got a B
      grade.

      It was the second year in a row that Ventura County's beaches were the
      cleanest in the study.

      "It's amazing how good the water quality is there (in Ventura
      County)," said Mike Grimmer, Heal the Bay's Beach Report Card manager.

      The water isn't as clean after it rains, but it is still cleaner than
      the water at most Southern California beaches after a storm. Ocean
      water is dirtier in wet weather because the rain washes polluted water
      down creeks and storm drains and into the ocean.

      During the winter months, the Ventura County Environmental Health
      Division tests the water at only 11 of the county's beaches. Heal the
      Bay gave all 11 an A in dry winter weather; in wet weather, there were
      six C's, four B's and one A.

      The C's were at Rincon Beach; Mandos Cove north of Ventura; Surfer's
      Point and Peninsula Beach, both in Ventura; Hollywood Beach at La
      Crescenta Street; and Channel Islands Harbor Beach Park at the south
      end of Victoria Avenue.

      "In dry weather, the beaches are generally pretty good. In wet
      weather, all bets are off," said Paul Jenkin, a campaign coordinator
      for the Ventura County chapter of the Surfrider Foundation.

      Jenkin lives in Ventura and surfs frequently at beaches in Ventura and
      Oxnard. He said he's gotten ear infections and other ailments from
      surfing after a rainstorm.

      The bacteria in the water — much of it from human or animal feces —
      can cause a variety of infections and other health problems. That's
      why public health officials urge surfers and others to stay out of the
      water for 72 hours after a heavy rainfall.

      Jenkin said he thinks that's a good idea, but it shouldn't have to be
      that way.

      "It's clear that local governments can take actions to reduce the
      urban runoff," he said. "It really takes a change in the way business
      is done by public agencies. It takes going back and retrofitting the
      existing storm drain infrastructure. The drains have been designed to
      put it all in the ocean."

      Grimmer said he's seeing improvement up and down the state every time
      Heal the Bay releases its report card. Statewide, 93 percent of
      beaches received A or B grades when tested last summer, an 8 percent
      improvement from the summer of 2006.

      In wet weather, 46 percent of beaches were graded at C or worse.

      "If you're at an open-ocean beach and it's dry weather, you have
      almost a 100 percent chance of swimming in clean water," Grimmer said.
      "We're making some strides on wet weather. Unless we live in a society
      where there's no trash anywhere, a lower standard is always going to
      be expected during wet weather conditions."

      Paul Jenkin
      pjenkin@...
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