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El Matador Beach
El Matador Beach
Eric Demarcq

Mapped: The 18 Cleanest Beaches in Los Angeles

Where to swim and where not to

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El Matador Beach
| Eric Demarcq

Heal the Bay has just released its annual report card on California beach cleanliness, and five Los Angeles beaches have made the honor roll: El Matador, Escondido, Long Point, Abalone Cove, and Portuguese Bend Cove were all singled out as some of the cleanest beaches in Southern California.

Heal the Bay also found the dirtiest beaches too. Stay away from Santa Monica, Marina Del Rey, and the Redondo Beach Pier. They were named amongst the top ten "Beach Bummers" in California. Yikes.

But we're not here to dwell on some dirty piers, we're here to celebrate LA's finest beaches and show you where you can find the cleanest ocean water in town.

Heal the Bay gave each beach a grade from A+ to F in three categories: how clean it was during the summer months (April-October), winter months (November-March), and during wet weather. We've averaged the three grades for all the beaches on Heal the Bay's list and given them a score from one to six. Here are the LA beaches that scored the highest.

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1. El Matador State Beach

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32215 Pacific Coast Hwy.
Malibu, CA 90265

At Encinal Canyon, the grades were summer (dry): A+; winter (dry): A+; year-round (wet): A+. Overall score: 6.0

2. Escondido Beach

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Grades at Escondido Creek were summer (dry): A+; winter (dry): A+; year-round (wet): A+. Overall score: 6.0

3. Long Point Beach

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6610 Palos Verdes Drive East
Rancho Palos Verdes, CA 90275

Summer (dry): A+; winter (dry): A+; year-round (wet): A+. Overall score: 6.0

4. Abalone Cove Shoreline Park

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5970 Palos Verdes Dr S
Rancho Palos Verdes, CA 90275
(310) 377-1222

Summer (dry): A+; winter (dry): A+; year-round (wet): A+. Overall score: 6.0

5. Portuguese Bend Reserve

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Park Place Rd.
Rancho Palos Verdes, CA 90275

Summer (dry): A+; winter (dry): A+; year-round (wet): A+. Overall score: 6.0

6. Zuma Beach

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30050 Pacific Coast Hwy
Malibu, CA 90265

Summer (dry): A+; winter (dry): A+; year-round (wet): A. Overall score: 5.6

7. Bluff Cove

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Summer (dry): A+; winter (dry): A; year-round (wet): A+. Overall score: 5.6

8. Carbon Beach

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22878 Pacific Coast Hwy
Malibu, CA 90265
(310) 456-6444

Summer (dry): A+; winter (dry): A+; year-round (wet): A. Overall score: 5.6

9. Nicholas Canyon County Beach

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33850 Pacific Coast Highway
Malibu, CA 90265

Measured at San Nicholas Canyon Creek. Summer (dry): A+; winter (dry): A+; year-round (wet): A. Overall score: 5.6

10. Malaga Cove

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Neighborhood of Malaga Cove
Palos Verdes Estates, CA 90274

Summer (dry): A+; winter (dry): A; year-round (wet): A+. Overall score: 5.6

11. Royal Palms Beach

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Summer (dry): A; winter (dry): A+; year-round (wet): A+. Overall score: 5.6

12. Cabrillo Beach

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3720 Stephen M White Dr
San Pedro, CA 90731

Measured on the ocean side, Cabrillo Beach scores were Summer (dry): A+; winter (dry): A+; year-round (wet): A+. Overall score: 5.6Stay away from the water near the boat launch and restrooms, though. After wet weather, they both scored D's.

13. Broad Beach

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Measure at the mouth of Trancas Creek, Broad Beach scores were Summer (dry): A; winter (dry): A; year-round (wet): A+. Overall score: 5.3

14. Latigo Beach

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Summer (dry): A; winter (dry): A+; year-round (wet): A. Overall score: 5.3

15. Puerco Beach

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25200 Malibu Rd
Malibu, CA 90265

Summer (dry): A+; winter (dry): A; year-round (wet): A. Overall score: 5.3

16. Malibu Point

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Malibu Point
Malibu, CA 90265

Summer (dry): A+; winter (dry): A; year-round (wet): A. Overall score: 5.3

17. Will Rogers State Beach

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15100 Pacific Coast Hwy
Pacific Palisades, CA 90272
(310) 305-9546

Will Rogers Beach scored best near the Temescal Canyon storm drain. Summer (dry): A+; winter (dry): A+; year-round (wet): B. Overall score: 5.3. The Santa Ynez drain near Sunset Boulevard was another story.

18. Dockweiler State Beach

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12501 Vista del Mar
Playa del Rey, CA 90293
(310) 305-9523

Dockweiler Beach near the North Westchester storm drain gets a special mention since it scores highly in dry weather, but absolutely fails after a rain. Summer (dry): A+; winter (dry): A+; year-round (wet): F. Overall score: 4.3

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1. El Matador State Beach

32215 Pacific Coast Hwy., Malibu, CA 90265

At Encinal Canyon, the grades were summer (dry): A+; winter (dry): A+; year-round (wet): A+. Overall score: 6.0

32215 Pacific Coast Hwy.
Malibu, CA 90265

2. Escondido Beach

Malibu, CA

Grades at Escondido Creek were summer (dry): A+; winter (dry): A+; year-round (wet): A+. Overall score: 6.0

3. Long Point Beach

6610 Palos Verdes Drive East, Rancho Palos Verdes, CA 90275

Summer (dry): A+; winter (dry): A+; year-round (wet): A+. Overall score: 6.0

6610 Palos Verdes Drive East
Rancho Palos Verdes, CA 90275

4. Abalone Cove Shoreline Park

5970 Palos Verdes Dr S, Rancho Palos Verdes, CA 90275

Summer (dry): A+; winter (dry): A+; year-round (wet): A+. Overall score: 6.0

5970 Palos Verdes Dr S
Rancho Palos Verdes, CA 90275

5. Portuguese Bend Reserve

Park Place Rd., Rancho Palos Verdes, CA 90275

Summer (dry): A+; winter (dry): A+; year-round (wet): A+. Overall score: 6.0

Park Place Rd.
Rancho Palos Verdes, CA 90275

6. Zuma Beach

30050 Pacific Coast Hwy, Malibu, CA 90265

Summer (dry): A+; winter (dry): A+; year-round (wet): A. Overall score: 5.6

30050 Pacific Coast Hwy
Malibu, CA 90265

7. Bluff Cove

Palos Verdes Peninsula, CA

Summer (dry): A+; winter (dry): A; year-round (wet): A+. Overall score: 5.6

8. Carbon Beach

22878 Pacific Coast Hwy, Malibu, CA 90265

Summer (dry): A+; winter (dry): A+; year-round (wet): A. Overall score: 5.6

22878 Pacific Coast Hwy
Malibu, CA 90265

9. Nicholas Canyon County Beach

33850 Pacific Coast Highway, Malibu, CA 90265

Measured at San Nicholas Canyon Creek. Summer (dry): A+; winter (dry): A+; year-round (wet): A. Overall score: 5.6

33850 Pacific Coast Highway
Malibu, CA 90265

10. Malaga Cove

Neighborhood of Malaga Cove, Palos Verdes Estates, CA 90274

Summer (dry): A+; winter (dry): A; year-round (wet): A+. Overall score: 5.6

Neighborhood of Malaga Cove
Palos Verdes Estates, CA 90274

11. Royal Palms Beach

San Pedro, CA 90732

Summer (dry): A; winter (dry): A+; year-round (wet): A+. Overall score: 5.6

12. Cabrillo Beach

3720 Stephen M White Dr, San Pedro, CA 90731

Measured on the ocean side, Cabrillo Beach scores were Summer (dry): A+; winter (dry): A+; year-round (wet): A+. Overall score: 5.6Stay away from the water near the boat launch and restrooms, though. After wet weather, they both scored D's.

3720 Stephen M White Dr
San Pedro, CA 90731

13. Broad Beach

Malibu, California

Measure at the mouth of Trancas Creek, Broad Beach scores were Summer (dry): A; winter (dry): A; year-round (wet): A+. Overall score: 5.3

14. Latigo Beach

Malibu, CA

Summer (dry): A; winter (dry): A+; year-round (wet): A. Overall score: 5.3

15. Puerco Beach

25200 Malibu Rd, Malibu, CA 90265

Summer (dry): A+; winter (dry): A; year-round (wet): A. Overall score: 5.3

25200 Malibu Rd
Malibu, CA 90265

16. Malibu Point

Malibu Point, Malibu, CA 90265

Summer (dry): A+; winter (dry): A; year-round (wet): A. Overall score: 5.3

Malibu Point
Malibu, CA 90265

17. Will Rogers State Beach

15100 Pacific Coast Hwy, Pacific Palisades, CA 90272

Will Rogers Beach scored best near the Temescal Canyon storm drain. Summer (dry): A+; winter (dry): A+; year-round (wet): B. Overall score: 5.3. The Santa Ynez drain near Sunset Boulevard was another story.

15100 Pacific Coast Hwy
Pacific Palisades, CA 90272

18. Dockweiler State Beach

12501 Vista del Mar, Playa del Rey, CA 90293

Dockweiler Beach near the North Westchester storm drain gets a special mention since it scores highly in dry weather, but absolutely fails after a rain. Summer (dry): A+; winter (dry): A+; year-round (wet): F. Overall score: 4.3

12501 Vista del Mar
Playa del Rey, CA 90293