Beach water quality improves thanks to drought

SAN DIEGO – This has been one of the driest rainy seasons in recent San Diego history, but the lack of rain has had at least one environmental benefit.

Less rain means less storm-drain runoff, which led to a dramatic dip in bacterial pollution at local beaches, according to Heal the Bay’s 28th annual Beach Report Card. The vast majority of the beaches monitored in Southern California, 95 percent, earned A grades in the report, 5 percent above the five-year average in the report.

See how local beaches faired on the Beach Report Card

In San Diego County, 100 percent of the 69 beaches monitored over the summer received A or B grades. The grades during wet-weather monitoring were another story though. Those grades  fell significantly below the five year average, according to Heal the Bay.

Among the beaches that showed notable improvement was La Jolla Cove, which was listed on the 2016-2017 Beach Bummers list. It is no longer listed among the most polluted beaches in the state.