Health testing of California beaches has been extended for another year, giving temporary relief to the state program to protect swimmers from contaminated ocean water.
The State Water Resources Control Board voted Tuesday to spend $984,000 in state bond money to continue testing for pathogens at hundreds of beaches through 2011.
Beach water-quality monitoring has been in jeopardy because of state and county budget cuts. A Times investigation this summer found that testing had sunk to its lowest level in more than a decade, leading to fewer beach closures and advisories and putting swimmers, surfers and divers at a greater risk of getting sick.
The reprieve comes two years after Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger vetoed the $1 million the state had provided each year to test beaches across the state.