Majority of Michigan beach monitoring funds headed downstate

Nov 25, 2013

LANSING, MI (AP)--   About three dozen local health departments and other agencies that usually receive state funding to monitor beach waters for contamination won't get any next year. 

South Beach in Marquette, which has struggled with closures due to E. coli contamination.

The funding comes from the federal government. Michigan will get $152,000 in 2014.

But a provision inserted into a state budget bill orders the Department of Environmental Quality to spend $100,000 of that money on one project in Macomb County.

DEQ officials say the project will use DNA as a tool to speed up the process of determining whether E. coli bacteria levels are unsafe at particular beaches. They say it eventually will be helpful statewide.

But officials in counties that will lose their beach monitoring funds next year say it isn't fair that one county is getting two-thirds of the available money.