We are super stoked that our Chapter leader and Education Coordinator Amber Jones was able to sit down  with Jack O’Neill to talk about the serious water quality issue at Cowells Beach.  This is Cowells Beach’s fifth consecutive year of being on the Heal the Bay’s Beach Bummer List. This year it earns the title of California’s No. 1 most polluted beach. How can Santa Cruz  be known for it’s beaches and surf and have the state’s number 1 polluted beach?

Jack O’Neill and Chapter Leader Amber Jones Talk About Cleaning Up Cowells

Jack O’Neill and Chapter Leader Amber Jones Talk About Cleaning Up Cowells

This serious issue deeply saddens Jack. He has been closely affiliated with Cowell Beach since he had his surf shop there in the 50’s. When talking to Jack about this issue he said, “Surf City is the most important spot. Currently Santa Cruz is the most dangerous spot to surf on the West Coast due to this water quality issue. It’s very serious and something has to be done about it.” Jack has invested time and finances  into trying to help determine the source that is causing the high levels of bacteria.

The good news is that Surfrider Foundation Santa Cruz Chapter, Save the Waves Coalition, and Coastal Watershed  went before Santa Cruz City Council to form a working group with the city to work on this issue and the city council agreed to support and participate in this working group. Community involvement and support is key when it comes to issues such as these. The Sierra Club has also offered their support and will be joining the working group. We have hopes that with the support of all of these community based organizations, support of the city, and support of other concerned community members that resolution to the issue will be found.

To read the Heal the Bay report go to the following link: http://www.healthebay.org/sites/default/files/pdf/BRC_2014_WEB_.pdf#page=11