Governor vetoes money used to monitor Coastside water quality

By on Thu, October 9, 2008

The governor has cut funding for the program that monitors water quality in San Mateo County’s creeks and beaches, report the County Times.

County officials learned of the $35,000 budget cut this week as part of a million-dollar line-item veto the governor exacted on the state’s entire ocean water-quality monitoring program, funded on a year-to-year basis through an appropriation facilitated by the Department of Public Health.[...]

State nonprofit group Heal the Bay won’t be able to collect crucial beach closure data for its annual "Beach Bummer" report, which this spring listed Half Moon Bay’s Venice Beach as one of the most polluted beaches in the state for the second year in a row.

Venice Beach is one of the locations that will lose its county monitors under the new regime. Other locations north of Half Moon Bay, such as Pillar Point Harbor and the Fitzgerald Marine Reserve, will still receive testing thanks to the San Mateo County Resource Conservation District, an independent agency that recently obtained a one-year grant to coordinate a posse of "citizen scientists" who will perform water-quality tests throughout the midcoast area.

The cuts were retroactive to July 1, and the county must find $105,000 to cover the testing it has already been done.