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LA County Leads Heal The Bay’s ‘Beach Bummer List’ Yet Again

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Santa Monica Beach (credit: Jesse Grant/Getty Images)

Santa Monica Beach (credit: Jesse Grant/Getty Images)

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SANTA MONICA (CBS) — Los Angeles County once again leads Heal the Bay’s annual “Beach Bummer List,” with seven locations in the ranking of the state’s 10 most polluted beaches.

Catalina Island’s Avalon Harbor Beach, which has been troubled by outdated and leaking sewers, claimed the No. 1 spot.

The Malibu area has four beaches on the list: Puerco Beach near the Marie Canyon storm drain, Surfrider, Dan Blocker County Beach and Escondido State Beach. Cabrillo and Topanga beaches also scored low on this year’s list.

Two Orange County beaches made the “Bummer” list — Doheny State Beach at the San Juan Creek outlet and Poche Beach.

Despite the prevalence of Los Angeles County beaches on the “Bummers” list, Heal the Bay reported that the county was generally showing improvement in ocean-water quality.

“We are heartened by numerous individual beach success stories, but this year highlighted that there is still a long way to go in addressing storm water pollution,” said Kirsten James, Heal the Bay’s director of water quality.

“Locally, Heal the Bay will be focusing efforts on advocating for a strong municipal storm water permit to address this critical beach water quality issue.”

Heal the Bay’s report card assigns A-to-F letter grades to beaches up and down the coast, based on water pollution levels during the dry-weather period from April to October 2011.

In Los Angeles County, 82 percent of the sites tested earned A or B grades, compared to 75 percent last year, according to the report.

The report specifically hails efforts to improve water quality in Long Beach, where a number of sewer-repair and storm-drain-diversion projects have been undertaken. The result was a drastic improvement, with 93 percent of Long Beach sites earning A or B grades, compared to 27 percent in the last report.

Despite improvements, Los Angeles County still has the highest number of beaches with poor water quality of any county in the state.

Eleven beaches in Los Angeles County received F grades, up from nine last year.

To read the annual report, click here.

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