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Environment

Report Card Gives Most San Diego Beaches Good Grades

Heal the Bay map shows beach water quality grades on the San Diego county coastline on May 27, 2016.
Heal the Bay
Heal the Bay map shows beach water quality grades on the San Diego county coastline on May 27, 2016.

Hundreds of thousands of people found their way to a local beach this holiday weekend, and most were swimming in water that's suitable for recreation. But a new Heal The Bay report finds some San Diego County beaches continue to get persistently poor water quality marks.

The border region's coastal waters got failing marks and so did beaches sheltered from the open ocean in Mission and San Diego bays. The problem for families with children is that the bay beaches are sometimes more attractive but their children are also more susceptible to the pollution risks.

"Moms will take their kids to beaches where there aren't large waves. They feel more safe. But they tend to be swimming because of that in water that doesn't have good water circulation and tends to have a lot of persistent pollution issues," said Leslie Griffin, a water quality specialist at Heal the Bay.

The region's persistent drought is actually helping keep pollution out of recreational waters, according to Griffin, who said there is less rain to flush pollution into the sea. She also said people are using less water outdoors that would add to urban runoff.

The report also found the Tijuana River continues to have regular sewage related closures.

Shoreline Beach Park on Shelter Island made the report's top ten Beach Bummer list. There were also problems in Mission Bay and along the South County coast.

Imperial Beach Mayor Serge Dedina said sewage flowing out of the Tijuana River continues to be a problem.

"We are going to be pushing even harder to get this issue resolved because its not fair to kids and families on both sides of the border that this border area is awash in sewage, garbage and waste tires — and now potentially Zika carrying mosquitoes," Dedina said.

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