Local Surf Spot One of Dirtiest Beaches in State

Heal the Bay releases annual report

By Sam Catanzaro

According to Heal the Bay, a surf spot near Pacific Palisades has some of the dirtiest water in the state.

In an annual survey of over 500 beaches, Heal the Bay reported this week that 92 percent of California’s beaches had recorded good water-quality scores between April and October of 2019 — a significant improvement from previous years.

One beach, however, that did not score high marks was Topanga State Beach.

“Topanga Beach, which is no stranger to the Beach Bummer list, was Los Angeles County’s only Beach Bummer occupying the number five spot,” reads the report. “Topanga Lagoon is likely the source of the bacteria pollution at the beach. The lagoon receives high amounts of bird and dog fecal matter so when the lagoon is breached, the fecal matter flows into the ocean resulting in high bacteria concentrations. An ecological restoration of the lagoon is underway which could help mitigate the poor water quality.”

Topanga recorded an “F” Summer Dry Grade, “D” Winter Dry Grade and “F” Wet Weather Grade.

Will Rogers State Beach scored high marks for summer and winter dry days, although the Pulga Canyon storm drain and the beach at Santa Monica Canyon both got “F” wet winter grades.

Across Los Angels County, Summer Dry Grades were very good but slightly lower than average with 91 percent of the beaches receiving A and B grades. Wet Weather Grades were poor with only 42 percent of the beaches receiving A and B grades, which is average for the County. Winter Dry Grades were good and markedly above average with 92 percent of the beaches receiving A and B grades.

There were 68 sewage spills reported across the County which sent 148,276 gallons of sewage into bodies of water, according to the report.

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