Santa Barbara’s Arroyo Burro Beach made the top ten “Beach Bummers” in California this year, placing ninth in rankings by Heal the Bay, an organization dedicated to keeping watersheds in Southern California clean and safe. Topping the ten worst “Beach Bummers” in California were six from Los Angeles County. There were 32 total beaches statewide receiving an “F” grade in the report card.

Heal the Bay released its annual Beach Report Card, an evaluation of coastal water quality based on daily and weekly samples, after surveying more than 500 California beaches from the Mexican border up to Humboldt County.

Dry weather water quality in Santa Barbara declined this past year, according to the report, with only 15 out of 20 locations receiving “A” or “B” grades. The county had been averaging 95 percent over the past three years.

Three locations received “C” grades for the summer dry weather period, while Refugio State Beach received a “D” and Arroyo Burro Beach an “F.” Arroyo Burro received the same grade last year. Refugio’s grade was a surprise, according to the report, after receiving an “A” the last four reports.

Santa Barbara also did poor for wet weather quality, but did much better than the state average, with 12 of 20 locations receiving an As and B. There were no reported sewage spills reported which led to beach closures in Santa Barbara County last year. A record-low amount of rainfall was recorded in much of California this year, contributing to the water quality being above average. Ninety percent of the beaches from San Luis Obispo on north received an “A” grade.


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