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California’s Beach Water Not As Clean As Hoped

Aired 6/27/12 on KPBS News.

Urban runoff and sewage continue to create pollution problems in the waters off California Beaches. A new report finds the state had a quarter of all pollution advisories in the country last year.

The Testing the Waters Report said last year produced the third highest number of pollution alerts in the study's 22 year history. That's because of pollution and the state's rigorous water testing.

A surfer in Ocean Beach rides under the "June Gloom."
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Above: A surfer in Ocean Beach rides under the "June Gloom."

The biggest threat to California water quality is all the construction near the coast.

"We have heavily developed out coastal areas, so we have an awful amount of pavement that's right next to the beach," said Noah Garrison of the Natural Resources Defense Council. "And as a result, when it rains it flushes a lot of pollution into our coastal waters and to our beaches."

A couple of Los Angeles area beaches made the list of the nation's dirtiest. California was ranked 21st of 30 states when water quality is ranked.

The NRDC renewed a call to maintain and improve water quality testing around the nation.

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