California’s 10 Most Polluted Beaches

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Heal The Bay’s annual Beach Report Card has come out for 2019-2020. Heal The Bay is a 35 year old environmental nonprofit dedicated to keeping the California coastline safe.

First, let’s start with the good news!

92% of the 500+ beaches listed in the report received either an “A” or “B” rating for the 2020 summer.

Next, water quality has improved this year (compared to 2019), but this is mostly due the reduced amount rainfall, which means less bacteria and other pollutants flowing into the ocean through storm drains.

We’re also happy to see that Cowell Beach (Santa Cruz), which was once described as California’s dirtiest beach, did not make the Bummer List this year!

But now for the bad news. 10 beaches got F ratings.


2020 Beach Bummer List:

1.) Fitzgerald Marine Reserve at San Vicente Creek Outlet (San Mateo County)
2.) Poche Beach at Creek Outlet (Orange County)
3.) Pillar Point Harbor at Capistrano Avenue (San Mateo County)
4.) Foster City, Erckenbrack Park (San Mateo County)
5.) Topanga Beach at Creek Outlet (Los Angeles County)
6.) Pillar Point Harbor Beach (San Mateo County)
7.) Linda Mar Beach at San Pedro Creek (San Mateo County)
8.) Mission Bay, Vacation Isle North Cove (San Diego County)
9.) San Clemente Pier (Orange County)
10.) Pillar Point Harbor at Westpoint Avenue (San Mateo County)


It is apparently “unprecedented” for six beaches in the same county to appear on the Bummer List. What happened, San Mateo County? And what did Cowell Beach do to clean up their act? According to Mercury News, repairing sewer lines and diverting polluted lagoon water before it can reach the ocean made significant positive changes.

Check out their full report HERE


Mercury News


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