The Cleanest Beaches in Santa Cruz County 2014

Santa Cruz beaches that scored high for water quality on the National Resources Defense Council's Testing the Waters Report for 2014.

by Traci Hukill

June 25, 2014—Want to play in clean water this summer? Set your GPS for these Santa Cruz County beaches, where bacteria counts never exceeded federal safety levels during the 2013 calendar year, according to the Natural Resources Defense Council's 2014 Testing the Waters report, released today.

Bonus: this year the NRDC measured local water quality results using a lower enterococcus threshold than in previous years—which means these top-rated beaches had to exceed a tougher standard than last year to make the cut. That's what we like to hear.

Read more about the State of Santa Cruz County Beaches 2014.

And here they are:

Hidden Beach
Lighthouse (Its) Beach
Manresa State Beach
Pajaro Dunes State Beach
Pleasure Point Beach
San Vicente Beach
Scott Creek Beach
Sunset State Beach
Waddell Creek

These beaches also performed well, especially in light of the fact that they were tested 50 or more times during the year. (None of the top performers listed above was tested more than 12 times in 2013.) After the name of the beach you'll see the percentage of times that enterococcus counts came back in excess of the federal safety standard—the lower the better.

Seacliff State Beach 2%
Twin Lakes State Beach 4%
New Brighton State Beach 6%
Seabright State Beach 6%

The Cleanest Beaches in Santa Cruz County 2013
Poo Fighters