Clam Beach landed on Heal the Bay’s list of California’s most polluted beaches yet again this year, getting an ‘F’ for water quality on the 2021 Beach Report Card. Today our guest is Dr. Jeremy Corrigan, who has worked for years to answer the burning question: why does Clam Beach have such high levels of fecal indicator bacteria? Dr. J is the Lab Manager at the Humboldt County Dept. of Public Health, and recently published a paper based on genetic analysis of the most likely sources. His findings point to birds as the main influence at Clam Beach, while cattle appear to be the biggest source of bacteria pollution in the Strawberry Creek watershed. Tune in to find out what this means for surfers and other beachgoers.
FOR THOSE INCLINED TO DO A DEEP DIVE:
- Microbial Source Tracking Approach to Investigate Fecal Waste at the Strawberry Creek Watershed and Clam Beach, California, USA by Jeremy A. Corrigan et al. 2021
- Heal the Bay’s 2020-21 Beach Report Card
- Regional Water Board’s 2016-18 research on Pathogens in Coastal Streams
- Humboldt Baykeeper’s Water Quality Program features research involving volunteers, student interns, and local water quality experts