The annual Heal the Bay beach report gives the Central Coast a good rating going into the Memorial Day weekend with no serious warnings about water quality.
In past years, some beaches had failing grades for foul water, mainly where creeks wash out into the ocean by popular swimming areas.
Combined with a near record low rainfall, and on going efforts to keep beaches clean, the scorecard shows top marks even in areas prone to problems.
Serenading passersby at Arroyo Burro (Hendry’s) Beach, Joseph Mastroianni, said he sees people, “picking up their cans, their butts , whatever, their dog poo. They do a good job up and down the coast here.”
The former helicopter pilot has traveled extensively. When it comes to ocean front locations, he says “who comes to Santa Barbara and wants to leave? We’ve got the best beaches in the world. I think it compares to the French Riviera.”
On Santa Barbara’s East Beach, families are often using the sand and the playground.
Carrie Trumbull played with her child in a swing and said, “I think you can always to better. I think they are doing a fabulous job currently.” She also favors Carpinteria beaches and notices a very clear pride of cleanliness there from local residents.
The City of Santa Barbara has an extensive beach grooming program that involves heavy equipment to level the sand in areas like the volleyball courts. There are also hand crews to pick up trash, debris and items that are dumped around the creeks.
“Santa Barbara’s beaches are good for the people here. Good for attracting tourists. It’s what it’s all about.” said Jim Farned an ocean swimmer who often comes to the beach for a fitness workout.