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California beaches get ratings before summer season

Santa Monica Beach got an A rating from Heal the Bay.
Santa Monica Beach got an A rating from Heal the Bay.

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Heal the Bay has released its 2013 ratings for California beaches after extensively gathering information about bacteria in the water. The ratings reflect the likeliness of contracting an illness at various beaches on the California coast, and take into account three indicators: summer dry weather, yearly dry weather, and wet weather.

The beaches have received higher ratings this year than in previous years – Hermosa Beach, Cabrillo Beach in San Pedro, and the Wedge in Newport Beach received A+ ratings. While the A-F grades are generally good indicators about how dangerous a certain beach might be to one’s health, the standards are the same no matter how susceptible a person is to disease.

What are your favorite SoCal beaches? Which ones are safest? How can you protect yourself against illness at the beach – would you take a small child or an elderly family member to a middle-rated beach?


Kirsten James, Science and Policy Director, Water Quality at Heal the Bay