Local beach water receives improved report card from Heal the Bay

Heal the Bay released its report of beach water quality on Tuesday, with Long Beach receiving excellent marks for its beach water quality.
Water quality in Long Beach showed “dramatic improvement,” with all beaches receiving an “A” grade, except for one “B” at Mother’s Beach from the Heal the Bay 2011 End of Summer Beach Report Card. This is the third summer in a row Long Beach has shown improved water quality.
“By aggressively tackling our coastal water issues head on, we’re making a difference,” said Long Beach Mayor Bob Foster. “We still have work to do, but our water quality is improving, thanks to infrastructure improvements, grant funding, regional partnerships, technology and other innovative solutions.”
As Heal the Bay noted, “The City of Long Beach has remained dedicated to improving beach water quality through the implementation of several mitigation projects.” The Report Card singled out recently completed improvements at Colorado Lagoon, including:
• removing contaminated sediment
• cleaning an underground culvert to improve water circulation with Alamitos Bay
• installing bioswales to naturally filter out stormwater contaminants
• installing trash traps and a low-flow diversion system to divert some of the most heavily contaminated stormwater into the sewage system.
“Our determination to improve water quality is producing results, as well as excellent marks from Heal the Bay,” said Vice Mayor Suja Lowenthal, who represents the 2nd council district. “Our water quality grades improved by an impressive 27 percent over last summer, and even more over summer 2009.”
“Alamitos Bay and Colorado Lagoon have shown dramatic improvement over the past several years, thanks to continued investments at the Federal, State and local levels,” said 3rd District Councilmember Gary DeLong. “With additional projects on the way, we’re hoping to see continued improvements in our water quality.”
As Heal the Bay noted, “In general, beach water quality at the main beaches in Long Beach tends to be impacted by the Los Angeles River. This is supported by an extensive source-tracking study which showed the vast majority of bacterial contamination at Long Beach beaches was a result of pollution from the Los Angeles River.” Other factors affecting recreational water quality include the amount of rainfall and the frequency and severity of sewage spills from upstream communities.

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