According to a recently released state-of-the-beaches report, the sandy shores of Santa Barbara County were stricken with alarming levels of bacteria last year, resulting in several hundred no-swimming days for ocean enthusiasts. Compiled by the National Resources Defense Center (NRDC), the survey identified 34 Santa Barbara-area closures and swimming/surfing warnings in 2005. Downtown’s East Beach, the Mesa’s Arroyo Burro Beach, Goleta Beach, and Gaviota’s Arroyo Quemada beach were the most often affected areas, while popular surfing Mecca Rincon was also high up in the rankings. Using weekly data from state and county testing stations, the report examined beach closures country-wide, including a total count of 5,175 shutdowns and/or warnings for California beaches.

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