Four of the five safest beaches in the metropolitan area, in terms of water quality, are nestled near South Boston Harbor, according to a beach water quality report released Saturday.
Compiled by Save the Harbor/Save the Bay, the annual Metropolitan Beach Water Quality Report rates the safety of public beaches in Dorchester, East Boston, South Boston, Hull, Lynn, Nahant, Quincy, Revere and Winthrop.
Topping the list, with an average safety rating of 100% over six years from 2016-21, is Pleasure Bay, followed by nearby City Point, which has an average safety rating of 99%.
“The water is great for dogs,” said Brian Johnson, who was enjoying the empty sandy beach at Pleasure Bay with his four-month-old golden retriever, Toby, on Saturday afternoon.
Johnson, 31, said he doesn’t visit Pleasure Bay much anymore, but did go there often when he was growing up on the South Shore. He now lives in Hingham and made the trip on Saturday to complete the two-mile loop with his pup.
“(The water) looks much cleaner than it used to be,” he said. “I used to come here as a kid and do the loop.”
Two other beaches in the area, M Street Beach and Carson Beach, are fourth and fifth with the same six-year average rating of 98%. M Street held a slight edge in 2021, with a 94% rating to Carson’s 92%. Ranked third in this year’s report card is Nantasket Beach in Hull, with an average safety rating of 99% over six years.
While Southie’s beaches received high scores, Save the Harbor/Save the Bay said that in 2021 the overall water quality safety rating for beaches in the Boston Harbor area, managed by the Department of Conservation and Recreation, was down 7% from 2020 – 86% to 93% the previous year.
The organization said rainfall had a significant impact on the water quality of area beaches in 2021, a year that saw significantly more rain than 2020. For example, 19 storms in the year last exceeded half an inch of rain, and 12 storms brought more rain. only an inch of rain.
Despite the rain, Save the Harbor/Save the Bay said five beaches — Pleasure Bay and City Point in south Boston, Nantasket in Hull and Winthrop Beach — had perfect water quality scores last year. , according to the bulletin.
“Given the wet weather, most beaches in the area performed well, earning A’s and B’s,” said Chris Mancini, executive director of Save the Harbor/Save the Bay.
While the beach itself may have been nearly empty on Saturday afternoon, many people were enjoying the Pleasure Bay Loop. Walkers, runners and even a few in-line skaters enjoyed the scenic drive.
“It’s a nice place to go for a run,” said Brendan Taranowski, 24, a Boston resident who was walking with his girlfriend, Jess Boyajian.
“We try to (come) at least a few times a week,” added Boyajian, 19, who said the Castle Island area was “super convenient” for them as it is well maintained.