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Surfrider San Mateo County Op Ed On Linda Mar Beach in SF Chronicle

After landing on a national list of polluted beaches in a report released by the Surfrider Foundation this summer, we wrote an Op Ed in June 15th's San Francisco Chronicle about the status of Linda Mar Beach in Pacifica. 
In brief: San Pedro Creek carries polluted runoff from the urban watershed of Pedro Valley downstream, threatening the health and safety of people who hang out and surf or swim at Linda Mar Beach. Consistently high bacteria levels measured at the mouth of San Pedro Creek. According to test results measured by our BWTF team, San Pedro Creek failed to meet health criteria for fecal indicator bacteria 73% of the time it was tested in 2022.
In the San Pedro Creek watershed, there are a number of sources of pollution that could be contributing to the high bacteria levels that are being measured at Linda Mar Beach, including old sewer laterals that leak sewage into the creek, stormwater and dry weather runoff, and animal waste from dogs and other pets, horses and equestrian facilities, as well as birds and other wildlife. These same sources threaten water quality throughout San Mateo County and California’s Central Coast.
For more, zoom in on the Op Ed in this post or search for it on the newspaper's website.
In the meantime, here are some tips to stay safe in the ocean...
  • View or our weekly BWTF reports here on social media.
  • Avoid shallow, enclosed beaches with poor water circulation.
  • Swim at least 100 yards away from flowing storm drains, creeks, and piers.
  • Stay out of the water for at least 72-hours after a rain event.
  • Follow all local health and safety regulations, including all local pandemic-related regulations.
  • Check in with the lifeguard or ranger on duty for more information about the best places to swim.
A day at the beach should be memorable for the right reasons and not because polluted water caused you or someone in your family to be sick. Visit to learn more about our efforts to protect clean water and to get involved.
If you'd like to get involved with us locally, join our next Beach Cleanup on 7/29 (9-11a) @ Poplar and/or email either or
*There are 4 other SMC locations that made Heal The Bay's 2023 Beach Bummer List (swipe to see the list and/or visit