VENTURA, Calif. - Ventura County beaches were recently taken off a very important list. For nearly 20 years Ventura County beaches have been stuck on a so-called naughty list by California regulators.
“The State’s 303 D list is a list of impaired water bodies,” said Arne Anselm of Ventura County Watershed Protection District. “Water bodies that are not meeting water quality standards.”
Beaches previously identified as impaired by bacteria included Point Mugu, Port Hueneme, Ormond, Peninsula, San Buenaventura, Surfer’s Point, and Rincon. Earlier this month that all changed. Seven of Ventura County’s beaches were removed from that list.
“It doesn’t take much bad information to be put on to this list. It's basically a watch list, but it takes a lot of good information to get off the list and that is what we have been able to do over the last ten years was to collect that good information to show our beaches have good water quality,” said Anselm.
Anselm believes the success in being removed from the list came from ongoing efforts to prove ocean water met quality standards and was safe for swimming.
“Ventura County public health samples the ocean water once a week to see if it is meeting the standards and if it doesn’t they will close the beach and resample until it is clean,” said Anselm.
Anselm also believes the community made a big difference with people picking up after themselves and their pets helping to prevent further ocean pollution. Watersheds also helped contribute.
“The city and County of Ventura have done an awful lot on their own to educate the public, but also build infrastructure to divert storm drains to sanitary sewers so that polluted water doesn’t reach the ocean,” said Anselm. “They also build green streets to allow water to soak in instead of carrying pollution into the ocean.”