Community, Diversity, Sustainability and other Overused Words

Santa Monica Pier is Happy with a C Grade on the Heal the Bay Beach Report

Swim at least 100 yards away from storm drains, creeks, and piers.

According to Heal the Bay's annual Beach Report Card, the beach at Santa Monica Pier improved its water quality. For the first time since 2013, the Pier missed getting put on Heal the Bay's "Beach Bummer List." The beach at this location did receive a C grade, however, even in dry weather, when bacteria levels are usually lower.

Heal the Bay assigns A-F letter grades for 500 California beaches with the grades based on the weekly levels of bacterial pollution found in the water. In the 2018-2019 year, beach water quality decreased somewhat on average in California. This is probably due to the increased rainfall this year. In addition, ocean water quality decreased dramatically after the Woolsey Fire in Malibu. Wildfires result in vegetation loss, which causes more runoff.

Heal the Bay's CEO, Dr. Shelley Luce, credits the increase in water quality at Santa Monica Pier to the installation of the Santa Monica Urban Runoff Recycling Facility, which treats street runoff before it is released into the ocean.

To avoid becoming sick from a day at the beach, Heal the Bay offers the following guidelines:

Avoid shallow, enclosed beaches with poor water circulation.

Swim at least 100 yards away from storm drains, creeks, and piers.

Stay out of the water for at least 72 hours after it rains.

Heal the Bay recommends checking their website at for current water conditions before going into the water. Bathing in ocean water for which they have given a grade of C or less can increase the risk of contracting such illnesses as the stomach flu, ear infections, upper respiratory infections, and rashes.


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