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International Jury Awards First Blue Flag Beach Sites in Continental United States.

Blue Flag USA is proud to announce the first Blue Flags in the continental United States have been awarded to beaches in California and Florida. Westward Beach between the Zuma Lagoon and Birdview Avenue in Malibu and Delray Beach Municipal Beach between Casuarina Road and Laing Street in Delray received the recognition from the Blue Flag International Jury this month.

The Blue Flags will fly over Westward Beach from May 25 through September 30, 2023, and over Delray Beach Municipal Beach from May 19, 2023, through April 30, 2024.

The 36-year-old International Blue Flag program awards beaches, marinas, and tourism boat operators annually based on a significant but attainable set of operations criteria covering environmental education and information, water quality, environmental management, and safety and services. The International Jury awarded over 5,000 sites for the first time in 2022.

“Our sites have worked hard for several months to implement and maintain more than 30 diverse criteria to achieve award status. Their staff and communities can raise their flags with pride for going above and beyond US standards to receive international recognition for sustainable management practices,” said Annie Mercer, program coordinator for the American Shore and Beach Preservation Association (ASBPA). As a National Operator for the international Blue Flag program, ASBPA administers the program in the continental United States, Alaska, and Hawaii, as well as supports sites in reaching criteria compliance.

Staff from the Los Angeles County Department of Beaches and Harbors started with the program in 2020 as a beach management entity advising ASBPA on feasibility information, and officially entered the program as a pilot site in 2021 when the international jury reviewed their Gap Analysis. “We’re thrilled and honored that the Westward Beach portion of world-famous Zuma Beach will fly one of the first Blue Flags in the United States. The Blue Flag will provide visitors with extra assurance that we are responsibly caring for our coast.” said Gary Jones, Director for the County of Los Angeles’s Department of Beaches and Harbors.

The City of Delray Beach entered the program as a candidate beach in early 2022 and submitted its full application in the same year. “With the Atlantic Ocean at our doorstep, Delray Beach is proud to have a beautiful, world-class beach to call our own,” Delray Beach Mayor Shelly Petrolia said. “I am especially grateful for the dedicated individuals who have put so much effort into ensuring that our natural beach is safe, accessible and that beachgoers are educated about our conservation initiatives.”

As part of the international program’s mission of sustainable development through environmental education, awarded sites will be offering educational activities to the public. Programming details for local activities will be posted on their respective sites’ information boards.

Sites in the Blue Flag USA program participate in four stages of engagement between the host location and the USA program: Interest, Candidate, Applicant, and Award. Interested beaches engage in Blue Flag presentations and conversations with staff. Candidate sites have submitted their Self-Assessment Questionnaire for staff review and are working to meet criteria through partnerships, educational webinars and toolkits, and one-on-one meetings with staff. Applicant sites meet all the criteria and are ready to submit a full application in the next award cycle. Applications for the Blue Flag USA program open in September and close in December. Finally, Awards are issued to sites by the International Jury each year and audited by staff. Learn more at

Nick Gabaldon Day is always an incredible time. Filled with joy, history and the future. Definitely get out there if you can!

Hosted by The Black Surfers Collective, his year is even more epic with their partnership with Jamal Hill!

Jamal Hill, the founder of Swim Up Hill, has created an innovative teaching method that promotes restorative justice through swimming for underserved communities with little access to this essential life skill. We are pleased to have Swim Up Hill as our swimming lesson partner and grateful for their support.

Furthermore, we are thrilled to welcome the LA28, the organizers of the Olympic and Paralympic Games, who will be celebrating our community's diversity and creativity.

All participants will have the chance to meet and listen to inspiring stories from Olympic athletes, making the celebration even more special.

If you wish to take free surf lessons please Click Here

If you're interested in volunteering for the event, please Click Here to sign up. Please feel free to share this with anyone you think would be interested in attending and supporting the event. Thank you all for your continued support, and we look forward to seeing you at Nick Gabaldon Day.

It is National Beach Safety Week! The most important thing you can do when coming to the beach is talking with a lifeguard when you show up. All our lifeguards are very knowledgeable about all ocean/beach conditions and can direct you to the safest swim areas.

Summer Board Swap is upon us! Join Bay Streets Boards on Sunday, May 28th for some wicked deals and bomb food!

No registration needed, just pull up and make a deal. A little later than the typical board swap for the Sunday sleepers or early morning shredders. Freshly baked Neapolitan pizza provided by Citrea Bakery

Come by from 11am-3pm for a good time!

For more info, Click Here

From Santa Monica Close Up:

"The City of Los Angeles Department of Public Works carried out a cleanup operation of homeless encampments at the Venice Beach restrooms on Friday, May 19, 2023. Sanitation workers were donned in white hazardous materials suits as part of the safety protocol for the cleanup. LAHSA (Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority) was on site and provided homeless outreach during the cleanup operation."

Santa Monica Close Up is a photo blog by Santa Monica based Photojournalist/Press photographer Fabian Lewkowicz. Fabian is the former staff photographer for the Santa Monica Daily Observer Press, Santa Monica Mirror, Santa Monica and the Santa Monica Corsair.

Support Santa Monica Closeup/Fabian Lewkowicz with Venmo or PayPal to help earn money to make these videos: Hulu
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health is warning residents who plan to visit local beaches to avoid swimming, surfing and playing in the ocean water due to high bacteria levels. The ocean water warnings are for the following beaches:

Leo Carrillo State Beach in Malibu
Malibu Lagoon at Surfrider Beach
Zuma Creek at Zuma Beach
Marie Canyon Storm Drain at Puerco Beach
Las Flores Creek at Las Flores State Beach
Solstice Creek at Dan Blocker County Beach
Santa Monica Pier in Santa Monica
Santa Monica Canyon Creek at Will Rogers State Beach
Mothers Beach in Marina Del Rey
Inner Cabrillo Beach in San Pedro

Laboratory results from three local agencies are displayed on the map. The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (DPH) Environmental Health Recreational Waters Program, collects ocean water samples from the mainland, once a week throughout the year. DPH collects an additional five samples from Avalon on Santa Catalina Island beginning in April through October. The Los Angeles County Sanitation Districts (SD) collects ocean water samples at selected sites on the mainland, once each week throughout the year. The Beach Cities of Redondo Beach, Manhattan Beach and Hermosa Beach, Palos Verdes Estates and Rancho Palos Verdes (BC) jointly collect water samples within their cities, once a week throughout the year. DPH, SD, and BC also resample sites that have exceeded State Standards for bacteria in ocean water. The City of Los Angeles, Environmental Monitoring Division, LA Sanitation (HYP) collects water samples from various sites, one to five times per week, all year round. LA City also collects samples at some DPH sites as required by their State NPDES permit.

The public is notified when a site has exceeded State Standards for bacteria in ocean water on this website, by telephone hotline, and by signs posted at the impacted beaches.

Use the map below to obtain the current water quality status of your favorite beach location. Use your mouse wheel to zoom into a particular location. Click on the marker to identify the sampling location. This map is updated as conditions change.

LA’s beloved grassroots LGBTQ+ Pride celebration returns with FREE party in the street!

Be who you are at the Venice Pride Block Party on Friday, June 2, 2023 from 5 PM to 11 PM at 99 Windward Ave, Venice, CA. Featuring community booths, food trucks, queer market, and more! Celebrate Pride at the beach, it’s open to the public—and all ages!

Special Pride month edition of everyone’s favorite westside queer dance party, @gaywatchparty (21+) to follow Block Party at Baja Cantina from 10 PM to 2 AM. Proceeds from the Block Party will benefit Venice Pride, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit aimed at saving lives through the acceptance of diversity by giving back to the local community through volunteerism, partnerships and events throughout the year.

For more info and tickets, Click Here

Suit up for summer and salty days with a $500 RVCA shopping spree to dial in your perfect coastal kit.

Click Here