West Coast
A group picnics in the sand as a pair of surfers split a wave at Rodeo Beach in Sausalito, Calif. on Wednesday, July 8, 2020. Sherry LaVars / Marin Independent Journal

CA - Marin County beaches receive ‘outstanding’ water quality ratings

Marin County beaches continued to receive high marks for their water quality with only Stinson Beach receiving a failing grade during wet weather.

All 24 testing sites in the county received “outstanding” marks during dry weather in 2019-2020, according to the latest “Beach Report Card” by environmental organization Heal the Bay. The annual report grades beaches throughout the West Coast based on levels of bacterial contamination in the water.

One of the main reasons for this year’s high marks was the lack of rainfall the county received, according to Marin County Environmental Health Service Division project manager Arti Kundu.

“We know that if it rains it’s going to bring back a lot of pollutants and runoff that will get into the beaches and make it much more polluted,” Kundu said, “but the dry weather helped contribute to the much cleaner beaches for 2019 to 2020.”

Marin recorded about 14 inches of rain, which is about 34% lower than the average of 22 inches, according to the report. The county also saw a significant reduction in the amount of sewage spilled in the 2019-2020 monitoring period compared to 2018-2019. About 20 sewage spills occurred in the county, of which nearly 11,750 gallons of sewage reached the surface water, according to the report.

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