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Report Shows Water Quality Poor At Some Beaches In San Diego

A new report from the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) says beach water quality in Southern California leaves a lot to be desired. The report reveals the state's most polluted beaches are in Los Angeles County.

Lifeguards monitored beachgoers on the Mission Beach boardwalk on January 14, 2010. Waves reached the boardwalk earlier in the day.
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Above: Lifeguards monitored beachgoers on the Mission Beach boardwalk on January 14, 2010. Waves reached the boardwalk earlier in the day.

The NRDC has been looking at recreational beach water quality for 20 years. The group examines water quality sampling data at beaches where people swim.

The report shows that last year 6 percent of the samples taken in San Diego County violated state standards. That compares to 16 percent of the samples in Los Angeles County.

NRDC's Noah Garrison says the beaches in San Diego that had problems were not a surprise.

"Tourmaline surfing park, and Border Field State Park, and Imperial Beach Municipal Beach, all showed high levels of contamination," said Garrison. "So it really does matter which beach you're going to, and people need to check to make sure that it's okay for them to get in the water."

Garrison says storm water runoff continues to be a major polluter at beaches throughout California.

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