Every year, Heal the Bay—a non-profit organization focused on the betterment of Southern California waterfronts and watersheds—releases a report card grading West Coast beaches based on their water quality. Samples were taken at each beach to gauge the presence of fecal bacteria and other pollutants in the “surf zone,” indicating the risk of illness to those who swim in the respective waters.
So how did the many beaches in LA county stack up this year? Most have followed the statewide trend of having excellent water quality, higher than the five year average. However, nine Los Angeles County beaches qualified as “beach bummers,” a term coined by Heal the Bay to designate those beaches with particularly dismal water quality: Mother’s Beach in Marina Del Ray, the beaches at Malibu Pier and Santa Monica pier, two harborside sections of Cabrillo Beach, two areas of the Long Beach coast, and two sections of Avalon Beach.
On the plus side, nearly as many were among the cleanest beaches in the state, making the “honor roll” on this year’s report card. These beaches were oceanside Cabrillo Beach, Will Rogers State Beach at the Pulga Canyon drain, Palos Verdes Estates’ Malaga Cove, Rancho Palos Verdes’ Portuguese Bend Cove, Abalone Cove Shoreline Park, Pena Creek at Las Tunas County Beach and the Venice City Beach by the Windward Avenue drain.
Read the full, detailed report organized by county here.