by Fiorella Calderoni
Heal the Bay today released its 28th annual Beach Report Card, which assigns yearly A-to-F water-quality grades for more than 400 beaches statewide based on levels of harmful bacteria. Some 95% of the beaches monitored in Southern California earned A grades during the busy summer season, a 5% uptick from the reporting period’s five-year average. In another positive sign, a record 37 beaches in California made the Heal the Bay Honor Roll this year – meaning they are monitored year-round and score perfect A-plus grades each week during all seasons and weather conditions. Ventura’s 40 monitored beaches scored a perfect 100% for the eighth consecutive year.
Beaches are graded by Heal the Bay, a nonprofit organization that advocates for the environment. Grades are from their 2018 Annual Beach Report Card. With the goal to keep beaches safe and clean, the organization evaluates both summer weather and wet weather conditions and assigns a grade to each beach. Ventura County also succeeded in the wet weather test with some of the top grades around.
Some credit definitely goes to Ventura’s beach cleanups. The beach cleanups gain more and more volunteers each year, and our raving reviews show it. Look out for California Coastal Cleanup Day on September 15th, which involves around 1,000 volunteers each year. In coordination with a statewide and global movement of approximately half a million people, together we’ll make a big dent in removing trash and debris from local habitats and communities. During Coastal Cleanup Day 2017, volunteers removed 800,000 pounds of trash and recyclables from California’s coast and inland waterways in only three hours. There truly is power in numbers.
You and I can help Ventura County keep its supreme report card while earning community service hours (college applications, anyone?). Sign up for a cleanup on the Volunteer Ventura website. A little time on the shore with trash bags in hand will no doubt land us on the Honor Roll next year, too.