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By Jim Shilander
After a couple of months of positive bacterial readings, the news has been mixed at Poche Beach the last several weeks, as the beach was placed on the county’s warning list for exceeding recommended health standards June 25. However, the Beach is now back up to an “A” grade from ocean safety organization Heal the Bay, and was removed from the warning list Sunday.
Poche Beach is located on county property within the city limits of Dana Point, but because urban runoff from San Clemente has been a cause of issues in the past, that city has taken a lead role in cleanup efforts.
The primary blame of the bacterial readings at the beach has generally been laid at the feet of gulls and other birds congregating in the ocean just outside the outflow of the Pima Deshecha channel.
Ken Nielsen, a San Clemente fisherman who serves on the city’s Coastal Advisory Committee said he believes the bad reading may have come from a change of currents south from Doheny Beach, where bird populations are actually higher.
The county has installed ultrasonic devices to try and move birds away from the channel area.