“The combination of record drought and completed Clean Beach Initiative projects led to the cleanest summer water quality in years,” said Heal the Bay President Mark Gold. “With more beach cleanup projects on the horizon, the prospects for this positive summer becoming a trend are great.” The group noted that between April 1 and Sept. 3, several Santa Monica Bay beaches exceeded newly adopted bacteria pollution standards. The worst offenders were the beach at Santa Monica Pier, Marie Canyon in Malibu, Dockweiler State Beach at Ballona Creek and the beach at Redondo Municipal Pier. Long Beach also continued to struggle with water quality, with more than half of the monitoring locations receiving grades of C or worse. Last year, however, nearly 88 percent of the beaches scored poorly. All 54 of Ventura County’s beaches got grades of A or B, as did 85 percent of the beaches in Santa Barbara County. In Orange County, 96 out of 104 beaches received A grades. SANTA MONICA – Los Angeles County beaches had the worst water quality in the state over the summer, despite record-low rainfall and improvements at the notoriously polluted Santa Monica Bay, an environmental group reported Thursday. Heal the Bay assigned letter grades ranging from A to F to 494 beaches along the California coast, based on bacteria pollution levels detected at monitoring stations from Memorial Day through Labor Day. According to the group, 17 percent of Los Angeles County beaches earned F grades during the summer, making it the worst county in the state for beach water quality. But Santa Monica Bay, which has a history of exceeding bacteria pollution levels, performed well, with area beaches receiving 93 percent A’s and B’s – besting the statewide average. Only four of the 67 Santa Monica Bay beaches received poor marks, compared with 16 last summer. The report mirrored similar conclusions released in August by the Natural Resources Defense Council, which that said the lack of rain last season meant less polluted urban runoff in storm-drain systems.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!