Most local beaches have really cleaned up over the years, but I just read an article in the L.A. Weekly, about seven that have been demonstrated to have unacceptable levels of pollutants and bacterial overgrowth. I’ve been to two of them in the last year (although we didn’t swim at one of them, just played in the sand a little)!
This just serves as a reminder to check any beach before your visit on the Beach Report Card from Heal the Bay.
The funny thing about some of these beaches is that they are often close to healthier alternatives. Instead of going to Malibu Pier, go to Leo Carillo, for example (which is prettier anyway). Instead of going to Cabrillo Beach after your visit to the aquarium located there, drive 15 minutes to quieter and cleaner places in Palos Verdes.