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What's keeping 8 million of us here in LA? It's what we've got that Nebraska's not. The beaches, man.

Heal the Bay released it's annual Beach Report Card yesterday. Their conclusion? It's been a bad year for LA's best natural feature, mostly on account of the record rains. (Rain flushes guck from all over, down storm drains and creeks and out to the ocean.) Happily, when the weather is warm and the sky is clear, we're clear to swim at most SoCal beaches. Time to bring on the sunscreen.

People often associate more urbanized beaches (think: Santa Monica Pier) with poor water quality, vs. more pristine areas (Malibu Surfrider). They're actually little related. Water quality is mostly about what's flowing into the ocean and where it's coming from. If you're headed to the beach, you can always check out Heal the Bay for more current water quality conditions.

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What's flowing into the ocean and where it's coming from is a lot about Angelenos not picking up dog poop, over-fertilizing, littering, dumping oil and the like. LAist hates to sound like your mother, but seriously: don't forget to pick up, LA.