Tag: environment

A Match Made in Environmental Heaven

October 8, 2012 lacarguy Audi, Audi LEED Certified Tags: , , , , , , , 1 Comment

Sometimes two companies working together just makes sense.  They think alike and have the same value set.  So it is with Audi and LAcarGUY.  And one result is your new LEED-rated Pacific Audi dealership…coming in November!

Thinking environmentally, or sustainably, can direct your energies to a number of important issues:  from water conservation to recycling, from energy conservation to where a product goes at the end of its life.  One of the best life-changing, and easy-to-read books for someone interested in learning more about the “lifecycle” of products is Cradle to Cradle; it focuses especially on how to change the entire concept of waste (of water, of energy, etc.), not at the END of a process, but in the initial design stages.  It’s an eye-opening read.

This leads us also to our topic today.  The new “Audi Terminal” design is the basis for our new dealership, and it was created by a team of architects and engineers in Germany (where Audi is based) to be an “ecologically intelligent, advanced construction method”.

The three pillars of sustainability are:  ecology, economy and social responsibility.  Audi loves to focus on the environment, especially through minimum ecological footprint and maximum efficiency…not a bad way to go!  Their employees also behind these ideas, often doing things on their own time to walk the walk.  Some examples:

  • On Audi’s most important transportation route, they use green electricity in the transport of freight—not only saving CO2, but creating a demand for renewable energy within their country. They’ve even won an award for this!
  • As part of their process chain, “packaging software” actually calculates optimal loading density for components, avoiding unnecessary transport due to waste of space (wouldn’t this have been helpful to us all when we had our friends help us move with multiple car trips?).
  • Some of Audi’s employees also raise bees, clean lakes, protect birds, clean and restore plots of derelict pieces of land back to nature for enjoyment, and so forth.  See the pages marked Passion in Audi’s current issue of their environment magazine called “Encounter”.

So, of course, this fits so well with LAcarGUY, which is always focused—with owner Mike Sullivan leading the way—on community and environmental causes. LAcarGUY has programs like:

  • Battery Recycling:  Interstate Battery handles the disposal of lead-acid batteries, which is strictly regulated by federal and state legislation, in an environmentally friendly way.  They return spent batteries to EPA-approved smelters where the lead and plastic are recycled to make new batteries and products.
  • Tire Recycling:  Lakin Tire reuses tire materials in exciting new ways that benefit society, such as rubberized asphalt for roads and safe playground surfaces for children.
  • Used Oil Recycling:  Once Asbury Environmental Services picks up the oil, it’s taken to a refinery where the oil is removed by going through clarifying columns.  Oil is treated for re-use as oil for ships (marine diesel fuel) and asphalt flux (blended into paving grade asphalt)!
  • The “Driving Green” incentive program that donates to Heal the Bay, EMA, and Global Green.
  • Explaining on their site really easily and clearly all the green car technologies!

You can keep up with our ongoing green initiatives HERE.

So when the chance came to team up with Audi on their new Terminal design…we were right there!  Having our own local team of architects, GC and many others…we’ve been working toward meshing their design with the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED building system, and we’re pretty excited to be just about there.

We’ve even, just recently, gotten solar energy approved to add to our building!

So this is what we mean when we say “a match made in environmental heaven”.  The manufacturer (Audi) already is thinking—from design stages to delivery—how to make their system more environmentally conscious (especially because they are a car company).  And then they team with a distributor like LAcarGUY who thinks like we do, and how everything we do affects the community they we part of.

LAcarGUY Sponsoring The 22nd Annual EMA Awards

September 13, 2012 lacarguy Environmental Media Association, LAcarGUY News & Events Tags: , , , , , , 0 Comments

Since 1991, the Environmental Media Association Awards has been the only program solely devoted to celebrating the entertainment industry’s environmental efforts. A pioneer in linking the power of celebrity to environmental awareness, it was EMA who invented the ‘green carpet,’ launching the concept of taking a hybrid or alternative fuel vehicle – not a limo – to our annual Awards show.As an organization that is deeply involved in environmental issues LAcarGUY is proud to once again sponsor this great event which highlights the great works that members of television, music, production, and business do to change and influence the message about the environment.

LAcarGUY has for the last several years provided Hybrid cars for people to arrive on the “Green Carpet” and will do so once again this year.  As LAcarGUY is the largest Hybrid dealer in the United States

The 22nd Annual EMA Awards will take place Saturday September 29th and you will be able to watch the event live on the EMA’s website, or their Facebook page, Facebook.com/EMAOnline.

LAcarGUY is continuing to work with the EMA on our School Garden project at the Helen Bernstein High School, have a look at the latest video.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tLADYRJuhZs&w=640&h=360]

Smog Pollution in LA Dropped 98 Percent in Last 50 Years

August 31, 2012 lacarguy HybridCars.com Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , 0 Comments

by Zach McDonald – HybridCars.com

Anyone who doubts the impact that cleaner vehicles can have on air quality would be wise to take heed of Los Angeles, where a new report from the University of Colorado’s Institute for Environmental Sciences has found pollution from smog-causing chemicals to be down 98 percent since 1960, thanks in part to the emergence of cleaner cars and trucks.

The transformation began in the late 1940s, when Los Angeles established the first air pollution control program in the nation’s history to combat a growing smog problem of unknown origins. After studying the issue, the Los Angeles County Air Pollution Control Program concluded that much of problem stemmed from the growing presence of automobiles in the area, and set out to find ways to make those cars and trucks cleaner.

Over the coming decades, those findings would lead to an array of clean air regulations, as well as technological developments ranging from the catalytic converter to the re-emergence of the electric vehicle. Modern plug-in cars like the Toyota RAV4 EV can in large part be credited to regulations passed by the California Air Resources Board (CARB), whose legacy can be traced back to LA’s early efforts to combat smog.

Remarkably enough, LA’s success in curbing smog pollutants has come in the face of drastically increased overall fuel usage. As the county’s population and overall vehicle miles have skyrocketed since the 1960s, so too has the gasoline and diesel required to fuel the expansion. Nevertheless, by passing controls to make the fuels themselves cleaner as well as the engines that burn them, regulators have found ways to improve air quality even as fuel usage has almost tripled over that period.

For Los Angeles, despite the tremendous progress that has been made over the last half century, the battle to curb emissions is nearly as dire today as it was 50 years ago. The city’s air quality still ranks among the lowest of any major urban area in the country, with automobile transportation remaining just critical a part of life in LA as it’s ever been.

The challenge ahead lies in improving the overall efficiency of new vehicles in California. Overall fuel economy in the United States has risen by less than 5 miles per gallon since 1960, which is something CARB has been fighting hard to change. The growing popularity of hybrids like the Toyota Prius will be instrumental in improving air quality over the coming decades, and advocates hope that the next generation of plug-ins will follow in their footsteps.

Mike Sullivan To Be Awarded With Community Environmental Leadership Award From Global Green USA

April 30, 2012 lacarguy Awards, Global Green USA, LAcarGUY News & Events, LAcarGUY Sustainability, mike sullivan Tags: , , , , , , , , , , 0 Comments

LAcarGUY‘s Mike Sullivan will be honored at the 16th Annual Millennium Awards Gala in Saturday June 2nd at the Fairmont Miramar in Santa Monica with the Community Environment Leadership Award.

This honor recognizes Mike’s personal commitment to supporting so many important local environmental organizations and for actively promoting community projects from beach cleanups to creating school gardens. When Global Green needed hybrid cars for their Red Carpet – Green Car campaign (i.e., taking stars to the Oscars in fuel efficient cars), Mike provided them.

LAcarGUY not only sell more hybrids and clean diesel cars than any other dealership group in America, we also showcase energy and resource conserving practices in its dealerships — including the new Audi LEED certified dealership. The LA Green Team represents the company’s commitment to advancing sustainability by encouraging, inspiring and educating its 800+ employees about reducing their individual and corporate carbon footprint, as well as selling more hybrids and clean diesel cars than any other dealership group in the United States.

We hope you will join us in paying tribute to Mike’s contributions and help support the work of Global Green by sponsoring a table or purchasing tickets to the event. To participate or for further information, please contact MTA Events at globalgreen@mtaevents.com or 818.906.0240 if you require further information. We look forward to seeing you there!

Fisker Karma Proves 51 Mile Electric Range In TÜV Tests

November 3, 2011 lacarguy Electric Vehicles, Fisker, Plugin Hybrid Vehicles Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , 0 Comments

The Fisker Karma has achieved 83 km/51.6 miles running in silence on electric-only mode during independent fuel efficiency tests carried out by Europe’s regulatory body, the Technischer Ueberwachungs Verein (TUV).

Founded in 1871, TÜV Rheinland is a global leader in independent testing, inspection, certification, and consulting services. The company inspects technical equipment, products and services; oversees projects; and helps to shape processes for U.S. companies seeking entry to worldwide markets.

The TUV have carried out the most thorough tests yet of the Karma’s real-world urban performance. This is an independent process that measures every element of the Fisker Karma luxury plug-in hybrid’s performance.

“We are delighted that the TUV has confirmed that most owners will achieve a 50 mile range running purely on electric during their daily commute,” said Fisker Automotive CEO and co-founder Henrik Fisker.

The Karma has already been awarded the highest possible score of 10 out of 10 for fuel economy and greenhouse gas emissions on its label from the US Environmental Protection Agency.

To stay on top of all the news and information about Fisker, make sure that you “Like” us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter!

Mike Sullivan Explains Why Fisker Santa Monica Is His Recycled Dealership

October 21, 2011 lacarguy Electric Vehicles, Fisker Santa Monica, LAcarGUY Sustainability Tags: , , , , , , , , 0 Comments

Rather than build an entire new building for our new Fisker Santa Monica store, we took an existing building that was our former Lexus Santa Monica store, remodeled it to be as green as we can be, and will be selling the first truly Eco-conscious luxury car, the Fisker Karma. Let’s let Mike Sullivan tell you all about it.

200 Year Old History on the Floors at Fisker Santa Monica

September 19, 2011 lacarguy Fisker, Fisker Santa Monica, LAcarGUY Sustainability Tags: , , , , , , , , 1 Comment

Keeping inline with LAcarGUY’s commitment to the environment and championing sustainability initiatives. we have made every effort to minimize the carbon footprint of the Fisker Santa Monica dealership.

One particular feature we would like to tell you about is the showroom floor. LAcarGUY has partnered with DeadHead Lumber Company to reclaim the wood from two old launchways at the former Snow’s shipyard in Rockland, Maine. The shipyard dates back to the 1800s, but the site is no longer in use. As a result, the launchways were left in disrepair. The owner was concerned about the timbers breaking loose in a storm and potentially causing a navigational hazard. DeadHead Lumber was called in to help with the removal.

DeadHead Lumber Company focuses on reclaiming sunken logs from Maine lakes and rivers. DeadHead logs share a rich history with Maine’s legendary logging industry. Referred to as “deadheads,” these historically significant logs sank during the log drives across Maine’s lakes and rivers beginning in the early 1600s. Hardwood logs, which could not be floated downriver, were chained to buoyant softwoods and rafted to the mills for processing. Since the weather on northern Maine lakes changes quickly and dramatically, many rafts were lost or abandoned during storms.

Resting undisturbed, these logs were perfectly preserved by Maine’s fresh water and protected from timber’s worst enemies–direct sunlight, pests, and oxygen. Centuries later, these sunken treasures are finally being recovered.

[slideshow]

In these images, the long beams are hemlock and pine; and the cross beams are oak. The beams were brought back to DeadHead Lumber’s yard; and were denailed and despiked, and finally sawn into thick 6/4 planks. The unique color of the beams are a result of being submerged with large steel spikes in them. As the spikes eroded, that caused what is called ‘iron tannate’ stain which results in the darkening of the wood.

Once the beams are cut into lumber, they are sent to a factory in Quebec where they are sliced into very thick veneer. The factory then re-submerges the wood in large vats of water and heats them up in order to soften the wood fibers for slicing. The process of vatting and slicing takes about one week. After the veneers are sliced, they are immediately passed through a hot dryer to lower the moisture content to about 6-8% and then packaged for shipment back to Maine.

A company in Kennebunkport, Maine that specializes in custom cutting and laying up veneer on base panels trims, grades and glues the veneers to the base panels. After the layup process is complete, the raw panels are brought to a custom millwork shop in Massachusetts for face sanding and to mould the tongue and groove. The unfinished flooring planks are then brought back to DeadHead Lumber’s shop in Scarborough and the Bona Kemi Natural finish is applied. The planks are then wrapped and packaged for shipment.

We feel very fortunate to have been able to include the work of DeadHead Lumber Company in our dealership. Just thinking about how those trees were logged by people 200 years ago and how they’ve been sitting underwater for over 200 years, it seems almost magical that they are now available for people to appreciate today! We invite you to visit the dealership to walk on a piece of history and experience them for yourself.

A Closer Look: Toyota’s 2012 Prius V

June 29, 2011 lacarguy Green Articles, Hybrid Vehicles, Toyota Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , 1 Comment

As you may know, Toyota is growing its Prius family line of vehicles in hopes that a few variations on our most successful battery-powered recipe will offer buyers solutions that the conventional Prius simply couldn’t match. Have you been considering a Prius but felt that the standard vehicle would not accommodate your growing family? Or do you lead a more active lifestyle and require something that will easily carry all your gear without you having to master the art of packing? Well, do we have the vehicle for you.

When it came to designing the Prius V, Toyota’s designers wanted to make sure that the newcomer would still be instantly recognized as a member of the Prius dynasty. Up front, the vehicle wears both stylized head lamps and a rounded front fascia that’s remarkably similar to the 2011 Prius. It also worth noting that the front fenders and hood are completely new sheetmetal. Also, the headlight housing has been altered to incorporate a new ridge that reduces wind turbulence around the side view mirrors. As a result, the small change has a huge impact on interior noise.

From the side, the wagon-like presence of the Prius V is inescapable with its long roof, similarly lengthy rear doors, and an extended cargo area. The rear offers a fairly sizable hatch that terminates in a unique rear spoiler which serves an aerodynamic purpose. Toyota designers and engineers made an effort to decrease the vehicle’s coefficient of drag as much as possible to increase fuel efficiency. Enhancements include touches like protrusions from the front and rear bumper, specially designed side skirts and extensive underbody cladding that help the Prius V return its .29 coefficient of drag.

Engineers essentially stretched the Prius floorplan to give the Prius V an extra three inches of wheelbase and six inches of overall length. Combined with a taller roof, additional glass and large rear hatch, this newcomer weighs 3,274 lb. Opting to skip throwing extra horsepower to all that weight, engineers simply changed the axle ratio from 3.268:1 to 3.704:1. As a result, the Prius V feels just as adequate on the road as the third-generation Prius. The new gear ratio means that acceleration is perfectly acceptable for matching wits with traffic in town or on the highway with 0-60 mph sprints taking an estimated 10.4 seconds. A total of four drive modes are accessible via buttons mounted on the center console, including EV, Eco, Power, and Normal modes.

Under the hood, the same 2ZR-FXE 1.8-liter Atkinson-cycle four-cylinder engine found in the base Prius supplies power in conjunction with a pair of liquid-cooled motor generators. Engineers designed the transaxle case in the Prius V with integrated water jackets for the first time to keep the motors at a steady temperature, thereby increasing longevity and performance at the same time. Combined output sits at 134 hp at 5,200 rpm and 105 lb-ft of torque at 4,000 rpm. The exhaust recirculation system was also redesigned to decrease the drivetrain’s warm-up period, as a result, the Prius V can reach optimum operating temperature up to a minute sooner than vehicles equipped with the old system.

As most other automakers are flocking to lithium-ion batteries, Toyota has decided that there is no need to pursue the added cost of the technology for the Prius V. Instead, the hybrid wagon uses a modified version of the same nickel-metal hydride battery pack found in the third-gen Prius. Total output has been boosted slightly to 650 volts, and the more compact battery configuration keeps from impeding on interior room. Additionally, the battery pack’s cooling duct now draws ambient air from a hidden location under the second-row seats.

If you’re looking toward a small SUV, a crossover, or a wagon, the Prius V has all the functionality of those vehicles with the fuel economy and panache that only the Prius name can offer. With improved functionality, the Prius V can be the vehicle to accommodate a growing family with an active lifestyle. Contact us to book your test drive today and we will notify you as soon as the vehicle hits our showroom. Follow us on Twitter and join our Facebook community to keep up with the latest updates.

Fisker Karma Debuts at Monaco Grand Prix

June 2, 2011 lacarguy Electric Vehicle Extended Range, Electric Vehicles, Fisker, Green Articles, Plugin Hybrid Vehicles Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , 0 Comments

It is quite fitting that HSH Prince Albert of Monaco was the one to put the Fisker Karma through its paces at the Formula One Monaco Grand Prix. His Serene Highness is known for his commitment to the environment and has always expressed a strong interest in encouraging innovative solutions for environmental protection and sustainable development around the world.

According to Henrik Fisker, it was actually the Sovereign Prince that was the inspiration behind the development of the Karma. Fisker commented: “The Fisker Karma project has a distinct Monaco link. Prince Albert was one of the people who inspired me to create the Fisker Karma. When I met him at the Top Marques Show in Monaco in 2006 he commented that he would love to see a fuel-efficient luxury car, and from that small seed grew the concept of what became Fisker Automotive and our focus on premium EVer cars that deliver pure driving passion.” We want to thank both the principality of Monaco and Prince Albert for not only being the inspiration, but also a great support for our groundbreaking automotive green initiative,” continued Fisker.

Visitors to the world’s most prestigious motorsport event were among the first to see the first Fisker Karma off the production line as it made its European driving debut on the famous street circuit. On Saturday 28 May 2011, before official race qualifying began, the first European production version of the Fisker Karma, the world’s first true Electric Vehicle with extended range, took to the streets of Monaco, completing a couple of laps.

The Fisker Karma is the first American-designed and engineered luxury vehicle specifically developed to appeal to world markets, inspired by Henrik’s paradigm of Responsible Luxury. It is the only luxury sedan in the world that meets future fuel consumption and emission requirements, making it suitable for any international city. It is the only true Electric Vehicle with extended range where its rear wheels are powered using two rear-mounted 201.5 horsepower (150 kW) electric traction motors that draw energy from the lithium-ion battery pack for up to 50 miles (80 km.) The gasoline engine drives a 175 kW electric generator to power the motors and there is no mechanical link between this engine and the drive motors.

The Fisker Karma is unique in that it can operate in two separate modes: Stealth and Sport. Stealth Mode maximizes efficiency, giving it the greatest range on battery power before having to activate the gasoline engine-driven generator to sustain the battery charge. In this mode, the Karma is capable of accelerating from 0 to 60 mph in 7.9 seconds and tops out at 95 mph. In Sport Mode, the gasoline engine drives the generator to provide enough electricity for 403 total system horsepower, which accelerates the Karma from 0 to 60 mph in just 5.9 seconds, topping out at 125 mph.

The Fisker Karma was designed to be a true driver’s car. Its proprietary aluminum space frame gives it the necessary rigidity and strength that enable world-class ride and handling characteristics. It is the first production car that has been specifically tuned to run on standard 22-inch aluminum wheels, giving it that final air of sophistication.

Fisker plans on delivering vehicles to all current deposit holders during the 2011 model year. We invite you to come in for a test drive as soon as the first vehicles hit showrooms. Follow us on Twitter and join our Facebook community to stay in the loop of the latest updates.

Heal The Bay Issues 2010-2011 Annual Beach Report Card

May 26, 2011 lacarguy Charity, Green Articles, Heal The Bay, LAcarGUY Sustainability Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , 0 Comments

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1IaN70dvqcY?hd=1&w=500&h=314]

As many of you know that LAcarGUY expanded it’s relationship with Heal the Bay by sponsoring the Beach Report Cards. The latest report has just come out and it looks at the health of the water and beaches of the West Coast, from Washington to California.

Overall beach water quality at Los Angeles County beaches dipped in 2010-11, according to Heal the Bay’s 21st annual Beach Report Card , which the environmental group released yesterday.

Heal the Bay analysts assigned A-to-F letter grades to 92 beaches in the county for the dry-weather period from March 2010 through April 2011 based on levels of weekly bacterial pollution. Some 75% of sites earned A or B grades, compared to an 80% tally in last year’s report.

The decline can be attributed to a number of factors, most notably higher than usual rainfall totals during the reporting period. Notably, some chronically polluted L.A. County beaches that had seen marked improvement reverted to poor form this year despite millions of dollars being spent on water quality improvements.

The 75% figure for L.A. beaches receiving A or B grades is well below the statewide average of 90%. Despite significant improvements over the course of two decades, Los Angeles County continues to have the greatest number of beaches with poor water quality grades of any county in the state.

“Despite numerous individual beach success stories, this year demonstrated that there hasn’t been progress reducing major beach pollution sources like the Los Angeles River, Malibu Creek and Topanga Creek,” said Dr. Mark Gold, president of Heal the Bay.

The Beach Report Card is a comprehensive evaluation of coastal water quality based on daily and weekly samples taken from sites along the entire coast of California. A poor grade means beachgoers face a higher risk of contracting illnesses such as stomach flu, ear infections, upper respiratory infections and skin rashes than swimmers at cleaner beaches.

(Ocean goers can check updated grades for their local beach each Friday at beachreportcard.org. Later this summer, Heal the Bay will launch an application for mobile devices that will allow beachgoers to access the latest water grades instantly)

A handful of significantly polluted beaches helped drag down the county’s overall grades, including those in Avalon and Malibu. Long Beach also played a major role. After three years of improved water quality during summer dry weather, Long Beach water quality fell an alarming 40% from last year.
Eight beaches in the county received year-round F grades. And Los Angeles County leads Heal the Bay’s annual Top 10 Beach Bummer List, with four locations in the ranking of the state’s most polluted beaches.

Avalon Beach in Catalina continues its reign as the most polluted beach in Los Angeles County. However after several years of delay, the city of Avalon granted $5.1 million toward sewer improvements, which will hopefully get underway this summer.

Other county sites on the state’s top 10 Beach Bummer list: Cabrillo Beach in San Pedro, Topanga State Beach and Colorado Lagoon in Long Beach.
On the positive side, seven beaches in Los Angeles County were placed on Heal the Bay’s Honor Roll, meaning they scored perfect A+ grades by not having any bacterial exceedances in year-round dry weather.

After spending more than $2 million and years of staff time to improve water quality at the Santa Monica Pier, city officials can take pride in a an annual A grade for the beach south of the pier. The dramatic swing removes the pier from its historical spot on the top 10 Beach Bummer list.

Meanwhile, Orange County beaches once again recorded excellent water quality grades, well above the state average. Some 96% of 84 locations monitored year-round during dry weather received an A or B during the summer, steady with last year’s report.

Despite the generally excellent water quality, Orange County had two historically troubled locales join the Top 10 Beach Bummer List: Poche Beach and Doheny Beach. A dry weather filtration-disinfection plant completed last year at Poche Beach has yet to meet performance specifications. County officials continue an ongoing effort to improve surf zone water quality, however, and are actively working to identify lingering causes of pollution.

Wet weather water quality in Orange County this past year was poor with 64% of monitoring locations receiving A or B grades. That figure compares with 42% in 2009-10, an improvement that benefits the county’s sizable population of year-round surfers.

Ventura County also enjoyed excellent water quality in 2010-11. All of the 40 beaches monitored during summer dry weather received A grades. There were no F grades during any reporting period. However, D grades were assigned to the following wet-weather locales: Surfer’s Point, Promenade Park, San Buenaventura Beach at San Jon Road, Surfer’s Knoll and Channel Islands Harbor Beach Park.

One of the reasons that Los Angeles County lags in water quality is the fact that its monitoring agencies – unlike most others in the state — collect samples directly in front of flowing storm drains and creeks. Orange and Ventura counties monitor 25 yards or more away from flowing drains and creeks.

Monitoring at “point zero” locations, where polluted runoff often pools, is the best way to ensure that health risks to swimmers are captured in water quality data.
However, not all water quality problems in Los Angeles County can be attributed to more stringent testing.

Year-round dry-weather water quality in Long Beach fell dramatically, with only 33% of its monitored beaches receiving A or B grades during the period. That rate lags significantly behind L.A. County’s 76% A or B total.

Long Beach’s water quality is poor overall because it sits at the terminus of the pollution-choked L.A. River. The nearly 1,000-square-mile drainage area is the predominant source of fecal bacteria to Long Beach waters.

The city is to be commended for investigating and fixing leaking or disconnected sewage pump lines and improperly working diversions. But ultimately the city’s water quality is directly tied to the rainfall amounts and enormous runoff volumes from the L.A. River.

Summertime water quality in Santa Monica Bay beaches was excellent, with 91% of the beaches from Palos Verdes to Leo Carillo receiving A or B grades. The figure is markedly better than the seven-year average of 82% and just edged out the statewide average of 80%.

On a more downbeat note, infrastructure improvements at Malibu’s Paradise Cove and Marie Canyon and Los Angeles’ Cabrillo Beach failed to yield similar results as Santa Monica Pier. These sites still earn D and F grades.

Wet weather water quality in L.A. County in 2010-11 fell significantly, with only 29% of beaches receiving A or B grades compared to 50% last year. Wet weather grades were 7% below the county’s seven-year average, with 40 out of 87 sites receiving an F grade.

Cities continue to grapple with storm water runoff and the harmful effects it has on year-round ocean users. Heal the Bay recommends that no one swim in the ocean during, and for at least three days after, a significant rainstorm.

State results
Statewide, most California beaches had very good water quality this past year during year-round dry weather, with 284 of 324 (88%) locations receiving A and B grades. That marks a 2% dip from the previous report.

Overall, 28 of the beaches (9%) monitored statewide received D or F grades during year-round dry weather. Eighteen beaches statewide received an overall F grade during the busy summer beach-going season for the 2010-11 Beach Report Card.

Numerous California beaches vied for the monitoring location with the consistently poorest dry-weather water quality.

Here are the Top 10 “Beach Bummers” in California (starting with the worst):

The Top 10 Beach Bummers
1. Cowell Beach – at the wharf (Santa Cruz County)
2. Avalon Harbor Beach on Catalina Island (L.A. County)
3. Cabrillo Beach harborside (Los Angeles County)
4. Topanga State Beach at creek mouth (L.A. County)
5. Poche Beach (Orange County)
6. North Beach/Doheny (Orange County)
7. Arroyo Burro Beach (Santa Barbara County)
8. Baker Beach at Lobos Creek (San Francisco County)
9. Colorado Lagoon (Los Angeles County)
10. Capitola Beach — west of the jetty (Santa Cruz County)

Honor Roll
Some 68 of the 324 (21%) beaches with year-round dry weather grades this year scored a perfect A+. These beaches had zero exceedances of state bacterial standards for ocean water quality throughout the entire time frame of this report. Heal the Bay proudly places these beaches on our Beach Report Card Honor Roll. A list of these locations in Los Angeles, Orange and Ventura counties can be found in the full report.

Uncertain Funding Statewide for Beach Monitoring
County monitoring agencies continue to feel the effects of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s 2008 line-item veto of state beach monitoring funds. The governor axed funds that supported the collection and processing of ocean water samples as well as the posting of signs to notify swimmers of health risks.

Fortunately, some local governments have temporarily allocated additional funding to provide this invaluable service to the beach-going public. The State Water Resources Control Board also provided major stop-gap funding through 2011.

There is no secured state funding for ongoing testing of ocean water quality in 2012, placing public health at risk. If the situation does not improve, over half of the beach monitoring in the state will stop. Heal the Bay will continue to work with state and local governments to ensure that ongoing funding is secured.

For a detailed look at beach results for each county and report methodology, please refer to our complete report. A PDF version is available at www.healthebay.org.

About the Beach Report Card
All county health departments are required to test beach water quality samples for three types of indicator bacteria at least once a week. Heal the Bay compiles the complex shoreline data, analyzes it and assigns an easy-to-understand letter grade. We analyzed 445 beaches, from San Diego to Humboldt counties, based on levels of weekly bacterial pollution reported from April 2010 through March 2011.

The summary includes an analysis of water quality during four time periods: summer dry season (April through October), year-round dry weather, winter dry weather, and year-round wet weather. The grading methodology is endorsed by the State Water Resources Control Board.

An FAQ about the Beach Report Card is available at www.healthebay.org/brc/FAQs. Heal the Bay’s interactive microsite contains weekly updates as well as historical grades. www.healthebay.org/brc

Heal the Bay’s Beach Report Card is made possible through the generous support of The Diller – von Furstenberg Family Foundation, simplehuman, LAcarGUY, SIMA, and Grousbeck Family Foundation