Birch Bay beaches receive A grades for summer 2011

Published on Mon, Oct 3, 2011 by Jeremy Schwartz

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All the beaches in Birch Bay tested over the summer received an "A" grade or better in a  beach report card released by a California-based environmental group.

Heal the Bay has issued its end of summer 2011 beach report card, and Birch Bay's beaches stayed at positive levels or have improved since last year. The report took publicly available date from the Whatcom County Health Department and determined the quality of the majority of the county's saltwater beaches.

The county health department collects data from three sites along Birch Bay: two just south of the intersection of Birch Bay Drive and Drayton Harbor Road and one across the street from the Birch Bay visitor's information center. The northern sites both received "A+" grades while the southern site received an "A." In the 2010 summer beach report card, the southern site received a "D" grade.

One the whole, 89 percent of the 226 Washington state saltwater beaches tested received "A" or "B" grades; a slight decrease from last year, in which 93 percent received "A's" or "B's". The heal the bay report also assigned letter grades for numerous beaches in California and a handful in Oregon.

Heal the Bay began issuing beach report cards for sites in California 21 years ago. The group started releasing letter grades for Washington and Oregon beaches in 2010.


For more information on the beach report card and for local beach quality updates, click here. Click here for my story on the 2010 beach report card.


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