South Bay’s beaches rank among the most polluted in the state


A handful of Bay Area beaches received ratings of poor water quality in an annual survey conducted by a non-profit organization. Five of the 10 best “Beach Bummers” in California, or the most polluted beaches, are in the Bay Area, with three in San Mateo County and one in Santa Cruz.

Heal the Bay’s annual 500 California Beach Rankings issued “Fs” for three beaches in Foster City: Erckenbrack Park and Gull Park, which are located in the Foster City Canals, were ranked second and fourth, respectively. most polluted, while Marlin Park, located on the bay, was ranked eighth most polluted. Runoff from surrounding commercial developments is responsible for poor water quality, according to KRON4.

Look, but don’t touch. . . or swim. Nestled in the canals of Foster City, Erckenbrack Park was ranked as the second most polluted beach in California by the nonprofit Heal the Bay. Source: Mapquest

Last year, a total of six beaches in San Mateo County were awarded the “Bummer” label, as reported by KRON4. Most of these beaches were at Pillar Point, near Half Moon Bay; these regions were not on the F list this year.

The iconic Capitola Beach in Santa Cruz has been ranked the third most polluted beach in the state by Heal the Bay. Birds that nest in nearby Soquel Creek create a concentration of fecal matter, which then becomes infected in the standing water. “In my work with the county environmental health folks, they believe this is a traffic issue with the currents in the creek,” said Steve Jesberg, director of public works for the town of Capitola. , cited by the Santa Cruz Sentinel. “And then Soquel Creek flows right into the center of [Capitola] beach. ”The results of the water samples found three types of fecal bacteria around Captiola Beach, including E. coli, the Sentinel reported.

Capitola beach in Santa Cruz suffers from pollution from neighboring bird colonies; a nearby lagoon has poor water circulation to remove bacteria. Source: photo provided, city of Santa Cruz

“We have found that if we have a lot of rain, especially in the spring, we get a good cleaning of the lagoon and the creek, and that helps our bacteria to count,” Jesberg said, quoted by the Sentinel. “In drought years, like the ones we are facing now, we anticipate a few more problems.”

Another long-standing hotspot for pollution in Santa Cruz was not on the list of beaches to be disappointed this year. Cowell Beach, north of Capitola, had been on Heal the Bay’s F List for a decade. “For the second year in a row, Cowell Beach is not on Heal the Bay’s Beach Bummer list,” the City of Santa Cruz said in a press release, adding that Cowell has enjoyed continued success in water quality with a weekly decrease in ocean levels. -bacterial pollution.

“This is great news,” Santa Cruz Mayor Donna Meyers said in the press release. “The changes in the bacteria data metrics, which kept Cowell Beach off the ‘Beach Bummer’ list for two years, now demonstrate the positive power of government working with a targeted group of community organizations.” In 2014, the city of Santa Cruz has mobilized the efforts of several nonprofit organizations – including the Save The Waves Coalition, the Sierra Club and the Surfrider Foundation – to implement mitigation measures to improve the quality of the water, the Sentinel reported. Metal screens have been installed near the municipal wharf in Santa Cruz to prevent massive nesting.

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