It was one of the cleanest summers ever, people.

And we're not just talking about the temporary porn-industry shutdown as a result of a syphilis scare.

No, the water off the coast was cleaning up its act, too, according to Heal the Bay's annual End of Summer Beach Report Card:

About 96 percent of the 446 beaches examined in California got A or B grades, according to the group.

In L.A. County, of course, things were a little dirtier, with only 87 percent making those grades. According to Heal the Bay:

Avalon Beach in Catalina got an F for the fifth summer in a row. Malibu Pier (adjacent to the septic-tank-back-up plan known as Malibu Lagoon) got an F. So did Cabrillo Beach in San Pedro.

About 94 percent of Santa Monica Bay beaches (including the likes of Santa Monica Pier and Venice), once the scourge of surfers and environmentalists, were A- or B-graded. Heal the Bay says:

Credit: surfcrs

Credit: surfcrs

This is the third year in row that the chronically polluted Santa Monica Pier earned a much-improved A grade.

The group is concerned, however, that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is proposing raising acceptable beach-water bacteria levels, which Heal the Bay says “would expose ocean swimmers to unacceptable health risks that cause diarrhea, nausea and vomiting.”

(Trust us, this actually happens — especially after a session at Surfrider Beach near the pier in Malibu).

Heal the Bay also says the EPA is proposing funding cutbacks that would curb water-quality monitoring.

But hey, tell it to Mitt Romney, who wants government off our backs. Or maybe not, since he owns beachfront property right here in Southern California.

In any case, keep it clean, people.

[@dennisjromero / / @LAWeeklyNews]

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