Thank you for the well-balanced article by Gabriella Mix, “Local Beaches Earn High Marks,” regarding Heal the Bay beach ratings for our Laguna Beach shoreline in the Indy, June 22. It was very informative.
Sadly, our beaches are not pristine, and we must not sit back and be lulled into a sense of false security from these ratings.
It is interesting to read that Heal the Bay does not go out and do their own clean-water samplings; they rely on county data, solely bacteria ratings, and then compile the information for public coastal areas. Whilst I realize that a good report card is very important for tourism in Laguna, it is just as important that all pollutants from urban runoff are tested and listed.
We all worked very hard to create the Laguna Beach Marine Protected Areas – one of the largest in Southern California and one of the few citywide reserves in the State, 6.9 miles. Therefore, it behooves us to develop more comprehensive testing of all pollutants including herbicides, pesticides, fertilizers, drugs, medicines, metals, grease, and other urban runoff pollutants that contribute to coastal dead zones and toxic algal blooms.
This is what the Laguna Bluebelt (www.lagunabluebelt.org) is currently working on; urban runoff in our own front yards and how to better educate us to stop polluting. A healthy ocean is for all of us, including the marine creatures that live in our MPA’s and the beautiful beaches we share and enjoy with them.
Charlotte Masarik, Laguna Beach