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91% of LA County Beaches Get Passing Grade

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Just as Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger eliminated all the funding--$1 million--for beach water quality monitoring in the state budget, Heal the Bay comes out with their annual Beach Report Card showing a near-record water quality statewide. With over 500 beaches listed, 92% of them earned an A or B, something the group claims is a success of the water quality monitoring program that was just cut.

Locally, beaches with failing grades or at least a D include various beaches in Long Beach and off Avalon on Catalina Island, in Malibu and around Santa Monica Pier. And while LA County received a 91%, "every county other than L.A. County above the 95% level for A’s and B’s," wrote Heal the Bay President Mark Gold on his blog. But Gold warns the high grades are no reason to celebrate with the funding cuts. "Without beach monitoring, the governor may as well put 'Swim at Your Own Risk' signs up along California’s coast."