Delaware Can No Longer Afford to Test Fish For Mercury

Because of budget cuts the state of Delaware will no longer test its fish for mercury and other pollutants...

From this story in the Delaware Coast Press
The state's fish testing program, which tracks levels of harmful chemicals such as mercury and other agricultural and industrial byproducts, is likely to come to a halt this year due to budget constraints, officials said. Rick Greene, of the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control's Division of Water Resources, said some tests sponsored with federal funds will continue, but state funds may not be available. Gov. Jack Markell's proposed 2011 budget allocates $8 million to the Division of Water Resources, compared to $12.3 million last year. The Fish Tissue Chemical Contaminant Monitoring & Health Advisory Program, a partnership between DNREC and the Department of Health and Social Services, has collected more than 500 samples and spent close to $1 million on testing since it was created in 1993, Greene said. "We have not missed a year since 1993," he said. "So, I would say we have a pretty good track record."

It's no secret that state budgets are getting hammered right now ,and it tight fiscal times environmental programs like water quality testing and monitoring are usually among the first casualties. How have the state environmental programs in your state fared?