Beach Testing Cut Because of Sequestration

Safe swimming cannot be guaranteed this summer on beaches that rely on federal water quality testing funds. The Environmental Protection Agency has pulled beach testing grants on places like the Great Lakes, due to the automatic spending cuts in the federal sequestration that begin on March 1st. The University of Wisconsin Oshkosh handles all or part of the testing for seven counties in eastern Wisconsin & it’s trying to keep the program running by cutting down on costs where it can. The loss is particularly felt in Door County where 30 beaches help attract tens of thousands of visitors every year. It has been estimated that a minimum of $45,000 will be needed to continue the program in the county this year, but only about half has been raised. Egg Harbor has committed $1,000 from room tax revenues to help with the beach testing effort.

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