East Beach at Mission Creek lands 10th in pollution statewide
East Beach at Mission Creek, located adjacent to Stearns Wharf, landed 10th on Heal the Bay’s 2020-2021 “Beach Bummers” list. The list designates the state’s 10 most polluted beaches.
The last Santa Barbara County beach to be declared a “bummer” was Arroyo Burro, which made the list in 2011. This is East Beach at Mission Creek’s first appearance on the list.
Heal the Bay looks at the water quality sampling from local agencies, which are tested for three fecal indicator bacteria. It then gives each beach a grade from “A” to “F,” based on tests during the summer months.
East Beach at Mission Creek scored a “D” and was the only Santa Barbara County beach to score below a “B.”
Guadalupe Dunes and El Capitan earned a spot on the “Honor Roll,” identifying the cleanest beaches. It is Guadalupe Dunes’ third straight feature on the list.
Heal the Bay reports that there were five sewage spills in Santa Barbara County, totaling 8,065 gallons. A 6,200 gallon spill poured into Guadalupe Dunes, but there were no health warnings, the report said.
In winter weather, all but one Santa Barbara County beach scored an “A.”
The wet weather grades were better than average, yet still disappointing. Reduced rainfall may contribute to improved grades in winter and wet weather.