As the Fourth of July looms and folks are looking to cool off at area beaches, they might want to think twice before dipping their toes into Doheny Beach waters.
The popular beach is ranked among the 15 worst in the nation because it is plagued with persistent pollution problems, according to a report released Wednesday by the Natural Resources Defense Council.
This is not the first time the beach has made an unfavorable list. Last month, Patch reported the state beach in Dana Point, at San Juan Creek Outlet,
The NRDC's 22nd annual report analyzed government data on beach-water
testing from 2011 at more than 3,000 beaches nationwide.
"Our beaches are plagued by a sobering legacy of water pollution,'' NRDC attorney Noah Garrison said. "Luckily, much of this filth is preventable and we can turn the tide against water pollution. By establishing better beach water quality standards and putting untapped 21st century solutions into place -- we can make a day at the beach as carefree as it should be and safeguard California's vital tourism industry.''
The report included Doheny State and Avalon Beach on Catalina Island
on the nationwide "Repeat Offender'' list. Water samples from these two beaches and 15 others from across the country violated public health standards more than 25 percent of the time for each year from 2007 to 2011, according to the report.
Overall, the report ranked California 21st out of 30 states in beachwater quality. The report found the most common reported causes of contamination came from elevated bacteria levels, preemptive closures due to sewage spills or leaks and heavy rainfall.
Last year, American beaches had the third-highest number of closure and
advisory days in more than two decades, with California making up 25 percent of
the national total. The report found that beach water nationwide in 2011
continued to suffer from contamination and pollutants from human and animal
Three Orange County beaches earned five-star ratings from the NRDC --
Newport Beach, Bolsa Chica Beach and Huntington State Beach -- based on
indicators of beachwater quality, monitoring frequency and public notification
Individual states with highest violation rates of reported samples in
2011 were Louisiana, Ohio and Illinois. The lowest were found in Delaware, New
Hampshire, North Carolina, New Jersey, Florida, Virginia and Hawaii.
Water quality of America's beaches has remained largely stable, with 8
percent of beach water samples nationwide violating public health standards in
2011 compared to 8 percent the previous year and 7 percent for four years
prior, according to the report.
This year's report comes with a new searchable online tool that allows
the public to search an interactive map using a ZIP Code. The data is available
--City News Service