A three-year study conducted by the USGS Water Resources Division indicates that problems with the City of Santa Barbara’s sewage system may not be to blame for high bacteria content at Santa Barbara’s beaches. The study, which also examined organic matter found on the beach, cited the high fecal content from shorebirds as contributing to bacterial increases in near-shore waters. The study was funded by a partnership between the city’s wastewater management system and Heal the Ocean.


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