How does a City get selected to Dr. Beach’s Top 10 Best Beaches in America list?

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.

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1. What is the plan for addressing sewage coming from Mexico? – EPA has planned several projects to address cross-border sewage.
2. What is the status of funding for the EPA’s plan? – $494 million committed, $130 million still needed.
3. Will the proposed projects result in more raw sewage being discharged to the Ocean? – No! EPA’s plan will improve the status quo.
4. Will EPA’s plan reduce sewage coming from the San Antonio de las Buenos treatment plant further south in Mexico? – Yes! By as much as 95%.
5. Was the Coronado Senior Association moved out of the John D. Spreckels Center to make room for the City’s Cultural Arts senior management analyst?
6. Since the Spreckels Center does not have the word “senior” anywhere on the facility, does the City have a true “senior center” that addresses the needs of those 50 and older?
7. Do I have to recycle my food waste now that EDCO has announced its new Organic Recycling Program?
8. Why does the City waste money watering the synthetic turf at the Lawn Bowling Green?
9. Does the City’s affordable housing provider San Diego Interfaith Housing treat tenants in an arbitrary, unpredictable, discriminatory fashion and evict people without cause?
10. Are the current asphalt repairs simply “make-work” and unnecessary?
11. Are there fresh water aquifers in Coronado that could be used for a supply of potable water?
12. Did the City of Newport Beach successfully challenge a state law, Senate Bill 2, that mandates a city's zoning codes accommodate emergency shelters and transitional housing?
13. Did the new traffic signal at Alameda Boulevard and Fourth Street cause a back-up of traffic east of the intersection on Wednesday, November 6?
14. Does refinancing the former redevelopment agency’s bonds and loans create more density in Coronado?
15. Does the City’s affordable housing provider San Diego Interfaith Housing treat tenants in an arbitrary, unpredictable, discriminatory fashion and evict people without cause?
16. How can the City leave the lights on at the Coronado Public Library overnight especially during the current heat wave and with potential rotating outages?
17. How does a City get selected to Dr. Beach’s Top 10 Best Beaches in America list?
18. Is it true that enterococci bacteria can be caused by decaying kelp and why doesn’t the City think the current advisory at Avenida del Sol is related to sewage impacts from the Tijuana River or Mexico
19. Is the City going to make changes at Coronado Cays Park?
20. Is the City not respecting its beautiful historic sidewalks?
21. Is the City trying to extend San Diego’s Lindbergh Field into Coronado?
22. Is the water quality being affected in South Beach and is Central Beach being tested for the Fourth of July?
23. Is there still time to have a say on the Coronado Cays Park Master Plan?
24. It has been reported in national news stories based on a local report that the City of Coronado’s beach was closed for several weeks. Is that true?
25. Questions have come up in the community about what uses are allowed in the City of Coronado’s R-1A residential zoning code. What are those uses?
26. The City has fire rings at North Beach that get very busy during the summer. What is the City’s fire ring policy? How does the City monitor behavior at the fire rings and is it enough?
27. What are the white cones along the Silver Strand State Highway?
28. Is the National Citizen Survey conducted by the National Research Center valid?
29. What is the current status of the Golf Course Water Recycling and Turf Care Facility project or the environmental review? How are the potential environmental impacts being addressed?
30. What role does the City have in the redevelopment of the Coramart building and has the City prevented its redevelopment?
31. What was the odor in Coronado on Easter Sunday?
32. Why are there two construction sites at Spreckels Park? And why is the site near Seventh only a concrete pad?
33. Why is the City ending its participation in the Rotary Santa program?
34. Why isn’t the City extending service to the Cays this year?
35. Why were two palms recently removed from the beach?
36. Why is the Glorietta Bay Boat Launch Ramp closed and when will it reopen?