We know our friends at the Los Angeles Convention and Visitors Bureau are always hard at work thinking of new ways to attract tourists to our fair city.

Heal the Bay's latest L.A. Beach Report Card suggests some new attractions, such as lumpy water, waves you can smell, and, of course, surfboard-adjacent bathrooms.

We kid, sort of. But really, water quality at L.A. County beaches is worse this year (2010-11), unfortunately. Here's what Heal the Bay says:

The decline can be attributed to a number of factors, most notably higher than usual rainfall totals during the reporting period. Notably, some chronically polluted L.A. County beaches that had seen marked improvement reverted to poor form this year despite millions of dollars being spent on water quality improvements.

To translate: When it rains, all the oil and chemicals and a lot of the trash on area streets and in our gutters ends up in the ocean.

Near 'shitpipe,' we think.; Credit: Heal the Bay

Near 'shitpipe,' we think.; Credit: Heal the Bay

So a rainier-than-normal year = worse beaches. And the good news is that this usually doesn't apply to generally good water quality in summer, when the relatives from Wisconsin visit.

But still, our beaches remain the worst in the state. (Yay!).

Heal the Bay's 21st annual Beach Report Card (PDF) says 75 percent of county beaches earned an A or B for water quality compared to 80 percent last year (2009-10).

Heal the Bay honcho Mark Gold:

… This year demonstrated that there hasn't been progress reducing major beach pollution sources like the Los Angeles River, Malibu Creek and Topanga Creek.

Other trouble spots include Long Beach, Avalon Beach in Catalina, Cabrillo Beach in San Pedro, and Topanga State Beach.

On the bright side, the report's honor roll includes three beaches in Malibu along with Venice Pier, El Segundo near the Hyperion sewage treatment plant (near the now somewhat ironic surf spot name of “shitpipe” — we kid you not), and two beaches along the Palos Verdes Peninsula where you probably shouldn't go because the locals will kick your ass.

These all get dry weather A+s. Yes, shitpipe, it seems, got top honors. Only in L.A.

(You can catch all the details here).


LA Weekly