Were you chin-deep in scary ocean bacteria all summer long, without ever realizing it? Now, thanks to local environmental org Heal the Bay, your blissful summertime ignorance shall be briskly swiped clean by the hard facts of fall!
Every year, at summer's end, Heal the Bay releases a "Beach Report Card"...
... for almost 500 sites along the California coast. The good news in 2012:
Heal the Bay reports, "Water quality data collected at California beaches this past summer improved, with 4% more A and B grades over last summer, and this summer was one of the cleanest years on record." And locally, in the land of Angels, "Water quality grades improved 2%." (Also: "There were no known sewage spills in Los Angeles County that resulted in beach closures this summer." Phew.)
The bad news: The seven beaches below all flunked out of summer school -- including Avalon Beach on Catalina Island, world-famous for its crystal-clear snorkeling waters. How's that for paradise?
7. Castle Rock Beach near the Pacific Palisades: C
A big ugly drainpipe jutting out from beneath the PCH sullies up this roadside swim spot. But it's kind of rocky and gross anyway -- so just stay east of the storm drain, and you should be good.