The iconic landmark of Coronado beaches is Hotel del Coronado, where you can ice skate on the beach in swimsuits in the winter, and enjoy great weather year round.
This week, Dr. Stephen Leatherman, who calls himself Dr. Beach, will announce his annual “Best Beaches in the U.S.” It’s a ritual he has done annually for more than a decade. While some think Coronado beaches will win his award as “The Best Beach in the U.S.,” many locals hope a recent 2 million gallon sewage spill, which contaminated the shoreline north of the U.S./Mexico border, won’t adversely affect their chances to be number one.
Coronado beaches have ranked in the top 10 previously and have a good chance to be #1, says Gary Warner of the OC Register newspaper. Whether Coronado is picked or not, it is still a winner, thanks to San Diego’s effort to provide clean ocean waters for all to enjoy.
A success story: Coronado beaches are a mere 26 miles from one of the worst ocean sewage problems in the U.S. The lack of sewage treatment in Tijuana, Mexico, approx. 26 miles south closes the Border Field State Park beach’s ocean access up to 300 days per year, according to Wildcoast, and closes Imperial Beach ocean access (8 miles from Coronado beaches) up to 50 days per year. In Imperial Beach surfers and local swimmers are offered free hepatitis vaccinations through one clinic. But further north in and around the City of San Diego, the efforts to clean up the water are paying off. Coronado, once plagued by the ocean flow from Tijuana, has enjoyed incredible improvement in its water quality and visitor experience, as have the surrounding beaches.
The Good News: A variety of agencies such as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and City of San Diego have invested heavily in mitigating the problem of ocean pollution by building sewage treatment facilities to capture and contain waste before it comes into the U.S. coastal waters from Mexico. San Diego’s beaches and water quality have improved since the construction and opening of sewage treatment facilities.
The Challenge: It’s a challenging problem to handle– the population of Tijuana is as big as San Diego with a reported 1,300,000 people living there. The millions of dollars invested to date have significantly improved water quality at San Diego County beaches. Additional efforts are underway to meet U.S. environmental standards. Vigilance is key as major spills and leaks that occur may have a delay time in the reporting the public sees and beach closures or warning signs posted.
A winner: Coronado is beautiful place and well known throughout the world, adding to the charm of San Diego’s beach scene. The efforts and money spent to fix the sewage problem from Mexico have significantly increased water quality at local beaches from Imperial Beach to Coronado, Ocean Beach to La Jolla. Hats off to San Diego for its efforts in providing clean, safe ocean access. It definitely should be awarded for this important effort and investment!