By Jim Shilander
After briefly appearing on the county’s Ocean Recreation Water Quality Warnings and Advisories last week, San Clemente’s Poche Beach is back off the list this week.
San Clemente Assistant City Engineer Tom Bonigut said high levels of bacteria were discovered at the beach, which is run by the County of Orange and sits on the San Clemente/Dana Point line near the Beach Road community of Capistrano Beach, during a brief period between the end of San Clemente’s falconry program, and the beginning of the county’s efforts.
In that period, hundreds of birds moved back into a pond and the surf nearby, leading to the increase in bacteria levels.
The beach is within Dana Point City limits but the city of San Clemente manages water quality there due to urban runoff from that city being collected at a channel there from the Prima Deshecha watershed.
County monitors then put up a pair of coyote decoys, which proved effective at frightening the birds away from the beach.
The city of San Clemente and county will continue to monitor the beach. Projects may be in the offing to enhance pedestrian access by repairing the catwalk under Pacific Coast Highway at the water treatment facility there.