wave.jpgMost Bay Area beaches earned a clean bill of health in this year’s 21st-annual report card that rates the sandy spots.

About 84 percent of the seaside locations received an A grade on an A through F scale administered by Heal the Bay, a nonprofit that analyzed weekly bacterial pollution from hundreds of beaches across California.

The Beach Report Card gave slightly lower marks this year than in 2010, when 85 percent of Bay Area beaches were awarded an A. But the numbers this year are still “on par” with earlier grades, according to Heal the Bay.

A few other Bay Area beaches also registered as pollution hotspots.

San Mateo County received D grades for summer activities at its Aquatic Park and Lakeshore Park. Both beaches suffer from limited circulation, according to Heal the Bay.

San Francisco’s Baker Beach was listed on the report card’s “Beach Bummer” list, which ranks the most polluted shorelines in the state. The beach sits on the terminus of a creek, which creates a lot of opportunities for bacteria to congregate there, the group found.

Also on the “Beach Bummer” list this year was Cowell Beach in Santa Cruz County, which ranked No. 1. Baker Beach was No. 8.

Capitola Beach, which is also in Santa Cruz County, ranked No. 10 on the “Beach Bummer” list. The remaining 11 beaches beyond Cowell and Capitola received A and B grades in Santa Cruz County this year, according to Heal the Bay.

The report card analyzed 445 beaches in California between April 2010 and March 2011.
More information about the report card can be found at Heal the Bay’s website at www.healthebay.org.

Saul Sugarman, Bay City News

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