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Report Card Has Good Grades For San Diego’s Beaches

Lisa Henry with her daughter Shae walk along a beach in San Diego in this und...

Credit: Milan Kovacevic

Above: Lisa Henry with her daughter Shae walk along a beach in San Diego in this undated photo.

An annual "Beach Report Card" concludes low rainfall in California is resulting in less runoff and cleaner water along the coast.

Heal The Bay officials said Thursday that a record 37 beaches statewide made its Honor Roll — meaning they are monitored year-round and score perfect A-plus grades each week.

San Diego's 69 monitored beaches got generally good marks, but the report doesn't capture the complete picture.

County beaches got good water quality marks during dry conditions, giving residents a reason to feel good about going to the beach.

"Mostly good news here for beachgoers. Try to stay out of the water for wet weather, but for the most part, give a check and make sure your beach is getting a good grade before you get into the water," said Ryan Searcy of Heal The Bay.

The worst beaches make a "Beach Bummer" list for chronic pollution that could sicken swimmers and surfers. Heal The Bay says seven of the state's 10 dirtiest beaches are in Northern California — including Roosevelt in Half Moon Bay and Cowell in Santa Cruz.

The most polluted beaches in Southern California are Poche in San Clemente, Cabrillo in Los Angeles and the strand around Santa Monica Pier.

No local beaches made the list of the state's most polluted. That includes past beach bummers La Jolla Cove and Mission Bay.

That was a surprise to some, especially considering the cross-border pollution problem affecting south county beaches.

"My first impression is that we're incredibly shocked that the beaches in Imperial Beach are not on the bummer list. It is not a list that we would like usually to be on, however, the sewage issue its really impacting the area and it continues to impact the area," said Gabriella Torres of Surfrider San Diego.

Heal The Bay surveys more than 450 beaches and assigns letter grades, A-plus through F.

Dry weather is good news for San Diego County beach water quality.

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