Contrary to a recent social media post, neither the City nor any of its staff pay or have ever paid to be ranked by any organization or business entity, including Dr. Beach's Top 10 Best Beaches list. Coronado's City beach made Dr. Beach's list of the best beaches in the country for 2018. The City came in at Number 9 this year, as well as last year. The list is put together annually by coastal expert and Florida International University professor Stephen P. Leatherman, also known as Dr. Beach. The City has no contact with Leatherman who, according to his website, uses 50 physical factors to make his decisions including beach width and condition, sand softness, water temperature and number of sunny days. The City does not receive notice of the list but hears about the rankings via the media after the list is released. After many years of rising to the top, Coronado's City beach found itself at the Number 1 spot in 2012. The City often ends up in top rankings on lists such as best dog beach and best kid-friendly beach. The City has nothing to do with the rankings, but we are proud of them all. The City takes immense pride in its beach and works diligently year-round to ensure the beach is pristine, safe and accommodating to all.
The social media post made several other allegations that also are untrue.
First, Coronado's City beach did not have record beach closures due to sewage spills last year. The waters at the City's beach has a strong record of performance. The only closures were due to water quality issues related to sewer spills from the Tijuana River. In 2017, there were two closures, one in January and one in late February into March. The first was due to a series of storms that caused sewage from Baja California to pollute the ocean and the second was due to an unreported sewage spill that caused 150 million gallons of sewage from the Tijuana River to enter the ocean over a period of several weeks. In numbers provided by San Diego County Health officials, in the past 8 years Coronado ocean beaches were closed:
- 2010: 2 closures, 16 days
- 2011 to 2013: 0 closures
- 2014: 1 closure, 4 days
- 2015: 2 closures, 5 days
- 2016: 1 closure, 3 days
- 2017: 2 closures, 11 days
Second, it was stated that the City has a "stingray epidemic." This past summer, the City had an above-average number of stingray stings. Lifeguards attributed the increase to an unusually small, gentle surf in 2017. When the surf is bigger, there are fewer reported stings. In 2017, the City's Lifeguard Services reported 873 minor medical calls, which includes everything from a stubbed toe to washing sand out of the eyes to a cut hand to a stingray sting. Another factor for the increase in stingray stings, according to lifeguards, is the increase in the number of beach visitors in recent years. The numbers of stingray stings are down so far this year. Lifeguards recommend shuffling your feet when entering the water.
Third, it was stated that the City has dangerous riptides. The City has a lower than an average number of reported riptides compared to other San Diego County beaches. Many neighboring beaches have a higher number of rescues due to their propensity for higher surf and larger crowds. Mention was made of the City being sued by the family of a drowning victim for not properly warning swimmers of dangerous waters. The lawsuit was dismissed.