Why is the ocean so dirty??

trash and cappuccino

I had a chance to visit my local beach in Santa Monica the other day by myself!! It was a beautiful day, somewhat warm but windy (around 70°F), and I was excited to have 2 hours to do whatever. I brought a beach towel and a sweater. First I took a much needed nap, and then I decided to walk the beach for an hour before heading back home.

After spending time at the beach in Northern California during spring break I have to admit I grew spoiled by the cleanliness of the ocean. When I decided to take a walk by the shore the other day I was greeted by what Max calls “cappuccino foam” (foamy creamy bubbles) that rushes to the shore and some trash. It made me feel sad. I was almost afraid to touch the water because it is so dirty (and it was cold). In the end I walked into the ocean for one moment before quickly exiting.

The last time I that I was brave enough to swim in the ocean on the Westside of Los Angeles I had the pleasure of walking to the shore from the water with trash surrounding me. I had to take a shower immediately when returning home. Max was shocked that I had swam in the ocean and commented that I might lose a limb from the experience. My health did not decline, but I did decide not to swim on this side of town again. Not all of the beaches are dirty in Los Angeles, just the ones I seem to frequent! I can drive south or north and find clean water.

So, why is the ocean so dirty? Too many people? People leaving trash? Dirtiness being pumped into the ocean through the drains? I believe it’s a combination of these things and more I am sure. Out of curiosity I checked the “Heal the Bay’s” Beach Report Card and they rated the Santa Monica Pier a “F” and beach where I was a “B”. They collect water samples and run a bacterium analysis and share how clean different beaches are across the west coast. For now my children are banned from swimming in the ocean on this side of town.

more cappuccino

birds on the shore- w/ cappuccino

SM pier in background

life guard tower with blue sky

(day 136)


2 thoughts on “Why is the ocean so dirty??

  1. Very well stated. I completely agree with you and think Max’s comments on this are hilarious! We only ride our bikes or go for walks at the Los Angeles beaches. And the beaches in Northern CA are usually too cold to swim in.

    • Mary, it’s amazing that we have such beautiful beaches in Los Angeles- until you touch the water! I hope one day they are clean enough to swim in.. but I’m not holding my breath.

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