Little Corona Beach received the worst summer grade of all Newport area beaches, according to a report released this week by the Heal the Bay organization.
The beach traditionally has earned A ratings, but this year, Heal the Bay awarded Little Corona a C, according to an article in the Orange County Register. Last year, the beach earned a B.
Heal the Bay’s beach water quality scientist Amanda Griesbach told the Register that she wasn’t alarmed about Little Corona Beach yet, but that a third low mark might make action necessary. The paper noted that she was confident that local officials would work to resolve the problems.
“They’re very conscious of what the water quality is and they’re very proactive in figuring out what the problem is and finding the pollution source,” she told the Register.
According to a Heal the Bay document, Orange County beach water quality improved 3 percent from last summer.
The beach’s current grade is an F for the 30 day period ending Aug. 7, according to Heal the Bay’s website. According to the website, Little Corona also had an F grade last September, but the grade rose over the fall. The grade dipped to a D in November and improved again to A’s and A+’s in June. The grades fell to a C and by July, the beach was flunking.
The Orange County Environmental Health Division takes water samples weekly at the beach, and health warnings were posted at the beach in July and in August because bacteria levels exceeded health standards.
City officials contacted by email did not immediately respond to a request for comments.