The kids are out of school and the temperatures are rising: it's getting to be peak beach season. Southern California's coast has lots of beach options, but they are not all alike—some of them are very clean and others have high levels of bacteria that can cause rashes and sickness. Gross. Here to help weed out the good from the yucky is Heal the Bay's annual Beach Report Card, with ratings for beach cleanliness, along with easy cheat sheets of the best and worst year-round places to wade and swim (every beach is graded for summer and winter dry weather, as well as wet year-round weather).
Once again, the drought has meant less rainwater runoff to help carry filth onto the beaches, and "beach grades across the state are consistently outperforming their five-year average" because of it, says Heal the Bay.
But still, three Los Angeles beaches made HtB's "Beach Bummers" list for the 2014-2015 season, which names the 10 most polluted places in California to swim:
· Mother's Beach in Marina del Rey (number 2 on the list)
· the Santa Monica Pier (number 6)
· the harbor side of San Pedro's Cabrillo Beach (number 9)
Cabrillo is a repeat offender, and there's currently a plan to turn the perpetually dirty beach into LA's first dog beach, in part to help spread the word that it's not fit for human swimming. Malibu Beach by the pier also got Fs in winter and year-round wet weather, and Redondo Beach south of its pier got two Fs for those time periods too. The grades weren't bad enough to place them on the bummer list, but they might give some people pause before jumping in.
LA County also had three beaches that made it onto HtB's Honor Roll, meaning that their year-round grades were A-pluses:
· Abalone Cove Shoreline Park (which contains Abalone Cove and Sacred Cove)
· Portuguese Bend Cove in Rancho Palos Verdes
· Bluff Cove in Palos Verdes Estates.
Zuma Beach and Hermosa Beach at Twenty-Sixth Street, though not officially on the Honor Roll, also got A grades (not all A-pluses, though) for all three testing periods, according to HtB's report card.
Here's the full list:
· Beach Report Card [Heal the Bay]
· Los Angeles Could Finally Get Its First Dog Beach [Curbed LA]
· Los Angeles's 3 Dirtiest and 8 Cleanest Beaches of the Year [Curbed LA]