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Beachgoers Turn to Online Contest to Save State Park

FinanceState ParksTourism and LeisureKTLAThe Coca-Cola Company

OXNARD, Calif. (KTLA) -- Fans of McGrath State Beach in Oxnard are doing whatever it takes to keep their beloved park from becoming another victim of the state's shrinking budget.

The beach, set to close Sept. 6, is a popular spot among summer travelers looking to camp, ATV or just enjoy the waves.

In an average year, the park is closed between Nov. 1 and March 1 to accommodate for upkeep and repairs.

Officials announced last month that the state of California lacked funds to keep the park open and perform over $500,000 worth of repairs on a rusting pipeline that carries campground sewage to a nearby treatment facility.

"The state park system's budget has been in steady decline for many decades and we're at a point now where there is no money to replace the sewer line," a park official told KTLA.

But earlier this week parks officials said they can keep the park open for at least two more months, citing the ability to pay for as much as $350,000 worth of repairs -- if local agencies can front the other $150,000.

Beachgoers and local politicians are hoping a boost from an online contest can answer their prayers. The park has been entered in Coca-Cola's "America's Favorite Park" contest where the winner will receive $100,000 from the beverage giant. Second place will receive $50,000 and third place will receive $25,000.

As of Friday, McGrath State Beach ranks number six in the contest, which ends Tuesday.

"You can vote as many times as you want," park advocate Victoria Borjesson said. "We really need to get 2 million votes in before it closes."

The Oxnard City Council is expected to deliberate the topic at its Sept. 13 meeting with hopes they can contribute.

Earlier this year California State Parks announced the closure of dozens of parks across the stated amid budget cuts of $22 million over the next two years.

Anyone wishing to make a donation to the park can send funds to California State Parks, Save McGrath State Beach, Channel Coast District Office, 911 San Pedro St., Ventura, CA 93001.


Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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FinanceState ParksTourism and LeisureKTLAThe Coca-Cola Company