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Los Angeles's 3 Dirtiest and 8 Cleanest Beaches of the Year

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Right on schedule and just in time for Memorial Day weekend, Heal the Bay's sent out their annual Beach Report Card, your guide to Los Angeles's most and least bacteria-filled shores. SoCal's record low rainfall has had a great effect on beach cleanliness (less rain means less runoff delivering gross stuff into the ocean); summer scores in LA County averaged higher than those from the last five years, says a release from Heal the Bay. A full 90 percent of county beaches received A or B grades for the summer of 2013, a six percent increase over the year before. Don't get too excited—LA is still the county with the highest number of beaches with poor water quality. Three LA beaches (down from four) made the "bummer" list, which names the ten most polluted places in the state to swim:

1. Mother's Beach in Marina del Rey (especially between the tower and the boat dock)
2. Cabrillo Beach harborside (on the list again)
3. Santa Monica Pier

Chronically bad beach Avalon Bay spent $6 million on improvements to its sewers, which helped get it off the list.

But for those three unsavory swimming spots, there are more than twice as many LA County beaches that made the HtB honor roll, meaning they have excellent water cleanliness throughout the year:

· Pena Creek at Las Tunas County Beach
· Will Rogers State Beach at Pulga Canyon storm drain
· Venice City Beach at Windward Avenue drain
· Malaga Cove, Palos Verdes Estates
· Abalone Cove Shoreline Park (which contains Abalone Cove beach and Sacred Cove beach)
· Portuguese Bend Cove, Rancho Palos Verdes
· Cabrillo Beach on the ocean side

Our neighbors Orange County and Ventura County did much better. Orange County was "well above" the state average, with 96 percent of its beaches earning As; overachiever Ventura got straight As at all of its beaches, making it one of the state's best counties for water quality.
· 2014 Beach Report Card [Heal the Bay]
· Beach Report Card Press Release [Heal the Bay]