SANTA BARBARA COUNTY, Calif. - California residents praised the recent wet winter for bringing water back to a drought-ridden area, but now an environmental group's report says rainfall is to blame for poor quality ocean water.
Heal the Bay is a non-profit organization dedicated to making the coastal waters and watersheds of Greater Los Angeles safe, healthy and clean. It released its annual report in June and explained its results after monitoring all the beaches statewide.
The organization saw increased amounts of urban runoff that affected the water quality of beaches. The top five most polluted beaches were in Orange, Los Angeles and San Diego counties, but Arroyo Burro Beach in Santa Barbara County was mentioned as an "area of concern because of its previous appearances" on the top 10 beach bummer list.
Susan Klein-Rothschild, the Deputy Director in Santa Barbara County's Community Health Division, tells us it's it's not uncommon for bacteria levels to increase after rainfall due to subsequent runoff. She also mentions the county is vigilant in posting warning signs or notices to inform residents and beach visitors about ocean water quality.