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State Resumes Paying For Beach Water Testing in San Diego County

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Aired 7/10/09

California has resumed funding of beach water monitoring in San Diego County this year despite the state budget crisis. But it's uncertain whether the program will get state money next summer.

California has resumed funding of beach water monitoring in San Diego County this year despite the state budget crisis, but it's uncertain whether the program will get state money next summer.

California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger eliminated the state funding in San Diego and 14 other coastal counties last September because of the state budget crisis, so San Diego County paid for limited testing at 19 beach areas.

County Supervisor Greg Cox says California will now reimburse the county and pay for testing through June of next year at 44 beach and bay locations.

However, Cox says the state may not fund the program next summer.

"So that's why we're working with the various cities and the water treatment agencies to try to figure out a long-term funding scheme and hopefully we'll have that in place and/or we can identify other state money to continue this program," Cox says.

The state has funded the program since 1999.

Thousands of people visit San Diego beaches each year.

The ocean testing helps alert swimmers when it's not safe to swim.

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