Heal the Bay's Beach Report Card® (BRC) is the only comprehensive tool to help you understand how clean your favorite West coast beaches really are, and how you can protect yourself and your family from getting sick from swimming.
Beaches can be polluted by high levels of bacteria that can cause stomach flu, colds, and skin rashes. Unfortunately, it’s impossible to tell which beaches are clean just by looking. The Beach Report Card analyzes bacteria levels and assigns each beach an A-F grade based on your risk of getting sick.
There are also some easy ways to try to limit your risk. Beaches that are protected from waves in a cove or marina are often polluted, because there isn’t much tidal action to move dirty water out. Ironically, these beaches are often called things like Baby Beach, or Mother’s Beach because of their lack of waves. Also, never swim within 100 yards of a flowing storm drain or creek, or anywhere you see water crossing the beach. Lastly, make sure you stay out of the water for 72 hours after any kind of rain and avoid enclosed and storm drain impacted beaches for 5 to 10 days after a storm.
The 2010 State of the Bay Report Santa Monica Bay Restoration Commission's report, published approximately every 5 years, looks at the health of the Bay’s natural habitats and resources, measures progress made towards achieving the goals of the “Bay Restoration Plan,” and identifies challenges ahead.