If you find yourself asking, “How bad could it be?” when you think about surfing after a rain, look no further than Seal Beach recently. It’s no secret Southern California’s been soggier than normal in recent weeks, causing urban runoff to cascade through the Southland’s cement-banked waterways and ultimately into the ocean.
That’s ultimately what happened with the San Gabriel River that terminates at the north end of Seal Beach. A series of storms over the weekend and early into the week created runoff that carried all sorts of trash and debris, including shopping carts, traffic cones, and plastic toys, to the ocean, much of it washing up on the beach.
“I’m almost in tears, honestly. It’s about to make me sick to my stomach,” Matt Cool, organizer of the beach cleanup group Save Our Beach, told CBS News. “I know we had a lot of rain, but this speaks volumes as to how our canals and oceans are controlled because we’re just missing it.”
Recent rain storms washed tons of debris, along with a few Target carts, down the San Gabriel River. The sand is now covered in trash in Seal Beach. #sealbeach #trash #beachcleanup pic.twitter.com/YU7pZ13vGV
— Jeff Gritchen 🇺🇸 (@jeffgritchen) February 5, 2019
And if the photos of the garbage-covered beach aren’t enough to scare you straight, the Orange County Healthcare Agency issued a rain advisory for all county beaches due to elevated bacteria levels.
In Los Angeles, LA County officials are warning residents to “avoid contact with ocean water” until Thursday January 11.
**Beach advisory** Avoid contact with ocean water around storm drains, creeks & rivers through Thurs Jan 11 due to the presence of bacteria, debris and other hazards washed down by #LArain. #CAstorm pic.twitter.com/JDdgrK6jdz
— Los Angeles County (@CountyofLA) January 9, 2018