Connecting state and local government leaders

Here's How Long Beach Is Becoming a Top Open-Water Swimming Destination

Long Beach, California

Long Beach, California City of Long Beach


Connecting state and local government leaders

The longest open-water buoy line in the U.S., regular water quality testing and swim ladders are part of the city's new investments.

While walkability is a concern for many municipalities, coastal cities like Long Beach, California, must also contend with the swimability of nearby water resources as it relates to resident health and wellness.

The Alamitos Bay inlet is a popular site for swimming, hydrobiking, paddle boarding and gondola rides. So Long Beach recently added the 500-yard Bayshore Buoy Line—the first measured, open-water buoy of its kind in the U.S.—to encourage swimming among residents of all skill levels.

Coupled with efforts to improve recreational water quality

“We figured out where the problems were, we improved the water quality and year after year, for the last eight years, we have been getting As and Bs along our coast,” says Vice Mayor Suja Lowenthal in this City of Long Beach video . “And it’s a commitment that we’re making, so now we are confident.”

Bay visitors can check the water quality as they arrive by referring to new signage, which also updates the public on water temperature and rain advisories. A green “open” sign lets people know the water has been tested by Health & Human Services at the Public Health Lab .

(City of Long Beach)

Though it may not seem like much, adding 15 swim ladders at public docks increases swimmer safety getting in and out of the water.

Recent walking and biking infrastructure improvements have also gone in around Long Beach, as the city takes a holistic approach to health and wellness.

Dave Nyczepir is a News Editor at Government Executive’s Route Fifty and is based in Washington D.C.

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