38th, 52nd streets rank among cleanest beaches

Only a dozen beaches nationwide made the National Resources Defense Council's list of "five-star" beaches.

Newport Beach is one of them.

The beach at 38th Street and 52nd/53rd Street ranked among the top in the nation for water quality. Nearby Bolsa Chica and Huntington State beaches also made the top 12 in the nation.

One nearby beach, Doheny State Beach in Dana Point, landed on the list for "repeat offenders," with a dismal ranking.

The report analyzed bacterial test results and public advisories from more than 3,000 beaches in 30 coastal and Great Lakes states, according to the Los Angeles Times.

A high bacteria count indicates beach water is likely to harbor pathogens that can sicken swimmers — causing skin rashes, stomach and respiratory illnesses, and other infections. Interactive maps in the report allow readers to search by ZIP Code to find out how their favorite beach measures up.

California, which accounted for 25% of the nation's beach closures and advisories, ranked 21st out of the 30 states in the number of beach water tests that flunked federal health standards.

The report calls on theU.S. Environmental Protection Agencyto strengthen a new set of beach water quality standards it is set to finalize this fall. Environmental groups have criticized some of its provisions as weaker at protecting swimmers from contaminated water than the 1986 rules they replace.

— This report was compiled by the staffs of the Daily Pilot and Los Angeles Times.


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