A Santa Monica-based non-profit organization has recently ranked Santa Barbara County’s Arroyo Burro Beach as one the top 10 worst beaches in the state.
Arroyo Burro, just north of downtown Santa Barbara, was rated the ninth worst beach in the state, receiving an “F” grade for its water quality in Heal the Bay’s Annual Beach Report Card. However, nine Santa Barbara County beaches, including Sands Beach and Goleta Beach, received an “A” rating from the organization. Los Angeles County received the worst grade overall.
Other local beaches of notably poor performance were Refugio State Beach and East Beach at Mission Creek. Heal the Bay President Mark Gold said the organization’s findings disprove many assumptions.
“Beach water quality knows no geographic bounds,” Gold said. “The Beach Report Card shows that just because you go to the beach in a multi-million dollar neighborhood doesn’t guarantee it’s safe for swimming.”
The non-profit organization dedicated to improving California’s coastal waters, labeled Arroyo Burro as the ninth biggest “beach bummer” because its poor water quality could potentially increase the likeliness of contracting illnesses such as flu, ear infections or skin rashes. The list was topped by Long Beach, with six of the other top 10 also hailing from Los Angeles County.
The annual beach report follows a lengthy restoration effort at Arroyo Burro Beach by city officials, where a culvert was removed, creek banks were stabilized and native vegetation was planted.
Meanwhile, Sands Beach at Coal Oil Point, just west of campus, was rated as one of the cleanest beaches in the county, along with Ocean Beach, Gaviota State Beach, Ledbetter Beach, East Beach at Sycamore Creek and Butterfly Beach. Additionally, water quality around California is higher than past averages. Gold attributes this to record-low rainfall in much of the state. The discrepancy between dry and wet seasons is drastic, due mainly to the added pollution that results from rainwater runoff, he said.
The Beach Report Card is Heal the Bay’s annual comprehensive evaluation of water quality along California beaches, ranging from Humboldt County, in the north, to San Diego and the Mexican border in the south.