Long Beach sees improved water quality grades for dry winter months

An annual water quality report released Friday from Heal the Bay gave A or B grades to 87% of the city’s beaches for the dry winter months, up from 73% the previous year.

Long Beach also received grades of A or B for summer months, city officials said, noting that this year’s report shows improvements in water quality over the past seven years.

“For years we have worked to improve the water quality at our beaches,” Mayor Robert Garcia said in a statement. “The work we have done is clearly reflected in these high marks from Heal the Bay.”

While 13 out of 15 beaches received A or B grades from April through October, all received grades of F or D during wet winter months, which is not uncommon for enclosed beaches.

Enclosed beaches, which make up the majority of beaches in Long Beach, include obstructions like a land mass or breakwater, and are often associated with lagoons, marinas and harbors.

Overall, 89% of enclosed beaches in California received A or B grades for dry summer mothers, while 84% received A or B grades for dry winter months. Just over half received A or B grades for wet weather months, which was slightly higher due to the decreased rainfall in 2019 and 2020, the report noted.

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Kelly Puente is an award-winning general assignment and special projects reporter at the Long Beach Post. She has worked as a journalist in Long Beach since 2006, covering everything from education and crime to courts and breaking news. Kelly previously worked at the Long Beach Press-Telegram and the Orange County Register before joining the Post in 2018. She is currently pursuing a master’s degree in public policy and administration at Cal State Long Beach. Reach her at [email protected].