County Officials Fight For Water Testing Funding - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

County Officials Fight For Water Testing Funding

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As California struggles through a fiscal crisis, county officials are hoping ocean water testing doesn't get left high and dry. There's a lack of funding flowing through the state's capital.

For four months now due to a lack of state funding, county officials have cut back on water testing.

"Well obviously it's important to me because there are thousands of people in San Diego who make use of the beach. We bring our families down here, our kids play in the water," surfer Jody Wood said.

Although the county still tests for sewage, surfers submerging themselves daily expect their tax dollars to provide a complete pollution examination.

"To make sure people don't go in not advised of the condition, and come out getting sick. No one wants to get sick when they spend time in the water, you know," surfer Kevin Cibulka said.

But the federal and state money that pays for water testing is stuck in Sacramento. County Supervisor Greg Cox says $25,000 from the federal government and $300,000 from the state is caught in recession red tape.

"The money has been allocated, but there is a problem getting the money," Cox said.

On the chance that San Diego County gets stiffed by the state, Supervisor Cox is already searching and scrambling for more money.

"We want to make sure we have appropriate safeguards for the public to know that it's safe to go out on the beaches," he said.

Cox urges the public to stay involved in the funding fight, and surfers we spoke to promise to do just that.

"Absolutely, really looking forward to the organizations around surfing to step up like Surfrider to see what they can do to influence the politicians to bring that money back for these programs," surfer Frank Colson said.

Supervisor Cox says county officials are under deadline because the slower winter months are almost over.

California's peak beach season kicks off on April 1. That busy season runs from April to Oct. 31, when millions of visitors enjoy San Diego's beaches and support the county's tourism industry.

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