Moonstone Beach County Park was ranked as sixth in a list of beaches that received the worst summer dry season grades in California by environmental nonprofit Heal The Bay’s 2021-22 Beach Report Card. The beach receives pollution from the nearby Little River flowing into the ocean. A study of nearby Clam Beach, which made the list as one of California’s more polluted beaches from 2013 through 2021, found that the pollution can be attributed to fecal matter from birds, cows and dogs.
“The most important thing people around here can do (to reduce pollution) is people who manage cattle can fence them out of the creeks and put a water source for the cattle off the stream channel so that they’re not polluting the creeks with their feces,” Jennifer Kalt, director of local environmental group Humboldt Baykeeper, said.
For dogs, Kalt noted that while it might seem counterproductive to put their poop in plastic bags and throw them away, doing so is more environmentally friendly than allowing it to wash into storm drains and creeks, polluting the water.
Avoiding swimming in beaches and creeks within 72 hours of a rainstorm is important, especially for children, since all the waste and feces left on the ground runs into drains, which washes out into the water systems, according to Kalt. Going into the water during this time can make beach-goers sick.
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