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9 Dirty California Beaches You Should Avoid This Summer

Planning a trip to a California beach this summer? Why not take a swim in raw sewage instead.

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These beaches all received abysmal ratings for summer water quality in Heal the Bay's new Beach Report card. And dirty water can make you sick: "the regional public health cost of gastrointestinal illnesses caused by recreating in polluted ocean waters was between $21 million and $51 million each year."

1. Malibu Pier, 50 yards east, in Los Angeles County. Grade: C

From the report: "While beach water quality at the Malibu Pier and Redondo Pier has been inconsistent over the past few years, this year’s mediocre dry weather grades are an indicator of pollution problems at these sites."

2. Stillwater Cove in Monterey County. Grade: D

"An adjacent storm drain, carrying urban runoff from a nearby shopping center and golf course likely contributed to Stillwater Cove’s poor beach water quality this past year."

3. Cowell Beach at wharf in Santa Cruz County. Grade: F

This is the most polluted beach in the report: "Human fecal sources were linked to corroded sewer pipes and faulty storm drain infrastructure."

4. Clam Beach County Park in Humboldt County. Grade: D

"Potential bacteria sources include onsite sewage treatment systems, wildlife, domestic animals, and vegetation."

5. Lovers Point Park in Monterey County. Grade: C

"Results conclude that the storm drain system in Lovers Point is contaminated with human sewage."

6. Santa Monica Municipal Pier in Los Angeles County. Grade: D

"The Santa Monica Pier has a long history of chronic beach pollution and is back on the Beach Bummer list at No. 7."

7. Capitola Beach in Santa Cruz County. Grade: C

"Capitola Beach has a history of chronically polluted beach water and this year’s inclusion marks its third appearance on the Beach Bummer List in the past six years."

8. Mothers Beach, between the Tower and the boat dock, in Los Angeles County. Grade: F

"Mother’s Beach is an enclosed beach, meaning it is protected from open ocean currents and tends to have poor beach water circulation."

9. Cabrillo Beach, harbor side at the restrooms, in Los Angeles County. Grade: F

"After more than $20 million invested in improving water quality at Cabrillo’s enclosed beach, it is still violating fecal bacteria TMDL limits."

Despite these gross beaches, California's coast actually did pretty well overall at cleanliness in the report. Read the entire report and see where you should go here.

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