The Santa Monica Beach areas near the pier have been removed from the nonprofit’s list of “Beach Bummers.”
“After spending more than $2 million and years of staff time to improve water quality at the Santa Monica Pier, city officials can take pride in an annual A grade for the beach south of the pier,” Heal the Bay said in a statement. “The dramatic swing removes the pier from its historical spot on the top 10 Beach Bummer list.”
The nonprofit analyzed 92 beaches in L.A. County during the dry-weather period from Mar. 2010 through Apr. 2011, based on bacterial-pollution levels.
Here’s the breakdown for Santa Monica beaches:
• Santa Monica Beach at Montana Ave. drain: A+ (dry), no sample (wet)
• Santa Monica Beach at Pico/Kenter storm drain: A (dry), F (wet)
• Santa Monica Beach at Strand St. (in front of the restrooms): A+ (dry), no sample (wet)
• Santa Monica Beach at Wilshire Blvd. drain: A+ (dry), no sample (wet)
• Santa Monica Pier: A (dry), F (wet)
In less positive news, the 21st annual Beach Report Card says the overall water quality at Los Angeles County beaches worsened in 2010-11.
“The decline can be attributed to a number of factors, most notably higher-than-usual rainfall totals during the reporting period,” Heal the Bay said. “Notably, some chronically polluted L.A. County beaches that had seen marked improvement reverted to poor form this year despite millions of dollars being spent on water-quality improvements.”
Seventy-five percent of L.A. County beaches received an A or B grade, compared with 80 percent last year. That’s below the California state average of 90 percent.
“Los Angeles County continues to have the greatest number of beaches with poor water-quality grades of any county in the state,” Heal the Bay said.
Heal the Bay’s “Beach Bummer” list highlights the top 10 beaches with the worst water quality. The list included four L.A. County beaches: Avalon Harbor Beach on Catalina Island, Cabrillo Beach harborside, Topanga State Beach at creek mouth, and Colorado Lagoon. Santa Cruz County’s Cowell Beach (at the wharf) topped the list.
“Despite numerous individual beach success stories, this year demonstrated that there hasn’t been progress reducing major beach pollution sources like the Los Angeles River, Malibu Creek and Topanga Creek,” Heal the Bay President Mark Gold said.
This article was updated at 3:55 p.m.