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Three La Jolla Beaches Make ‘Honor Roll’ in Ranking of California Beach Water Quality

Three La Jolla beaches have been added to an environmental group’s “Honor Roll” in 2022 for their perfect water quality conditions.

Heal the Bay is a Santa Monica-based nonprofit that measures water quality at beaches across California. Their annual report grades beaches based on the level of bacterial pollution in the water.

On June 22, the environmental organization released its 2021 to 2022 Beach Report Card.

Out of the 500 beaches that the nonprofit monitored, 51 made the “Honor Roll” for nearly perfect water quality conditions. Out of that 51, San Diego County had 15 beaches on the list.

Three of those beaches are in La Jolla Shores. That includes La Jolla Shores beach 1000 feet south of Scripps Pier, 250 feet south of Scripps Pier, and 500 feet south of Scripps Pier.

Other San Diego area beaches that made the Honor Roll include a beach in Del Mar, several in Carlsbad, two in Oceanside, a pair in Point Loma, the beach in front of Belmont Park in Mission Beach, and Sunset Cliffs.

San Diego County had the second-highest number of beaches on the Honor Roll, behind only Orange County, which had 19 beaches. Los Angeles County had six beaches on the list.

Heal the Bay notes that this data is important to beachgoers because coming into contact with elevated bacteria concentrations in ocean water is associated with increased risks to human health.

While 15 of its beaches made the Honor Roll, the majority of beaches in San Diego received either an A+, A, or B grade.

Only a few came in lower than that — with one C going to Cottonwood Creek at Moonlight Beach in Encinitas. Other polluted areas include beaches near the Tijuana Slough National Wildlife Reserve.

According to the group, Southern California beaches typically dominate the high rankings because Northern California doesn’t monitor its beaches year-round. Additionally, the beaches of La Jolla often rank high on the list because proactive community members regularly orchestrate beach cleanups that make a positive impact on water quality.

About the author: Mike Peterson is a freelance journalist and writer based in North San Diego County. He’s written and worked for a number of local media outlets, including the San Diego Union-Tribune, the North Coast Current, and the Oceanside Blade.