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New Report: Bacteria levels at Santa Cruz County beach worst in the state

SANTA CRUZ, Calif. - UPDATED 6/15/17: Two Santa Cruz County beaches have scored high on a list that no California beach wants to be on.

Heal The Bay's annual "Beach Bummer List" was recently released showing Cowell Beach and Capitola Beach in its top 10.

Capitola Beach is this year's new entry ranking at number 7. Cowell Beach topped the list last year but ranked lower this time around at number 3.

City officials say they've found birds are largely to blame for Cowell Beach's presence on the list.

Since 2016 they've been at work getting pigeons off the beach which appears to be helping their standing.

Still they say they'd rather be off of the list altogether.

"We're pretty happy to see the work that's been done, starting to pay off, so not being at number one feels pretty good," said Nik Strong-Cvetich, executive director with Save The Waves Coalition. "We've seen a big reduction in the birds that are actually roosting in the wharf and I think the biggest thing we're starting to see in the community is people feel like this is a place that they can go."

Deputy City Manager Scott Collins says they're going to work with a science technical advisory committee to see if there's more they can do to clean up the beach.

PREVIOUS STORY: Summer is here and before you take a dip in the ocean to cool off, you might want to take a look at this years "Beach Bummer" report card.

The Beach Bummer report tests the waters at some of California's most popular beaches  for bacterial pollution. In the annual "Beach Bummer" report card for 2017, both Cowell Beach and Capitola Beach received an F. 

The report uses weekly bacterial grades for 416 beaches in California.

Cowell Beach ranked in at number 3 on the list. For the last eight years the beach in Santa Cruz had been ranked either number 1 or number 2 worst beaches for bacteria pollution. 

Capitola Beach came in seventh for California beach bummers. Capitola Beach has been on and off the list over the years. This beach sits at the mouth of Soquel Creek, south of the Capitola wharf. 

Top Ten Beach Bummers:

1. Clam Beach County Park, McKinleyville- Humboldt County

2. San Clemente Pier, San Clemente- Orange County

3. Cowell Beach, West of Wharf, Santa Cruz-Santa Cruz County

4. Lakeshore Park, Marina Lagoon, San Mateo-San Mateo County

5. La Jolla Cove, La Jolla- San Diego County

6. Santa Monica Pier, Santa Monica- Los Angeles County

7. Capitola Beach, Capitola- Santa Cruz County

8. Luffenholtz Beach, Trinidad- Humboldt County

9. Mother's Beach, Marina del Rey- Los Angeles County

10. Monarch Beach, N. of Salt Creek, Dana Point- Orange County

 

 


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