New Jersey officials say the beaches are in good shape for the start of the summer season and the ocean water quality is excellent.
But President Trump’s proposed budget would eliminate federal funds for the program that tests the water at more than 200 bay and ocean beaches in the state.
New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Bob Martin says the state has all the money it needs to do that testing this year.
“We only get a small portion of the money from the federal government, and so it’s not something that’s insurmountable for the state to go and handle that expense in the future because we work with all the counties on it and they put up a lot of the resource and do the testing.”
Cindy Zipf, the executive director of Clean Ocean Action, said federal lawmakers will resist eliminating that funding.
“I absolutely believe the members of Congress of this region and beyond understand the fact that you don’t want kids swimming in sewage. So that’s kind of a basic funding source, and I think that money will be restored.”
If the water testing shows excess levels of bacteria from storm runoff or other pollution, beaches are closed until water quality improves.