Santa Cruz Chapter

Clean Up Cowell’s

Beach Bummer Top 5Cowell’s has spent five consecutive years on the Beach Bummer list (the dirtiest beach list in California), claiming the dirtiest beach in 2015. Along with the No. 2 most polluted spot for the second year in a row in 2012 and 2013, and in 2010 Cowell’s was named THE dirtiest beach in the entire State of California.

Recent headlines:


Nobody should get sick from surfing or spending a day at the beach. Surfrider’s goal is to get Cowell’s beach off the dirtiest beach list (beach bummer list), and get it back to being a healthy beach for residents and tourists alike to enjoy.


1. Get Cowell’s off the dirtiest beach list. No Swimming

2. Get needles off Cowell’s and Main beach.

3. Get rid of curfew at Cowell’s beach.

Ways to Help

  • Join our BWTF and help insure that Cowell’s and Main Beach are tested for water quality.
  • Take photos to document pollution and needles at Cowell’s and Main Beach. Post them on our facebook page and let everyone know on twitter with @surfridersc and #CleanUpCowells
  • Tell your friends and family about Cowell’s being one of the dirtiest beaches in California for almost half a decade. Let local business nearby know that you are afraid that you may get sick from spending a day at Cowell’s Beach. Most people don’t realize that Cowell’s beach is dirtier than the Tijuana Rivermouth.

    Trey removing 1 of 10 needles from our February beach clean up in 2013.

    Trey removing 1 of 10 needles from our February beach clean up at Cowell’s in 2013.

  • Donate to Surfrider – $20 Pays for two water tests to make sure a day at the beach is healthy & safe

2013 Beach Bummer List

    1. Avalon Harbor Beach on Catalina Island (L.A. County)
    2. Cowell Beach – at the wharf (Santa Cruz County)
    3. Poche Beach (Orange County)
    4. Cabrillo Beach harborside (Los Angeles County)
    5. Malibu Pier (L.A. County)
    6. Marina Lagoon (San Mateo County)
    7. Doheny State Beach (Orange County)
    8. Redondo Beach Pier (Los Angeles County)
    9. Windsurfer Circle at Candlestick Point (San Francisco County)
    10. Tijuana River Mouth (San Diego County)

Four Year Beach Bummer Cowells