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Ventura County state beach threatened with closure gets large grant

November 30, 2011 |  1:53 pm

A state beach in Ventura County that was threatened with closure received a $250,000 grant this week, securing its chances to remain open.
McGrath State Beach, a popular camping spot near Oxnard, was awarded the grant by the U.S. Department of Interior’s Land and Water Conservation Fund, according to an announcement Tuesday by Rep. Lois Capps (D-Santa Barbara), whose district includes McGrath. 
State park officials this year said McGrath would be shuttered because they could not afford the $500,000 required to update its aging sewer system.

The city of Oxnard and Ventura County pledged $50,000 each and private donors stepped forward -– but the anticipated federal grant was a prerequisite for those donations.
Last summer, local and state officials urged McGrath supporters to vote in an online Coca-Cola search for “America’s favorite park.”  The prize -– which went to Minot, N.D. -– was $100,000.
Money for the Interior Department’s fund is drawn primarily from offshore oil and gas leases, according to Capps’ office.
-- Steve Chawkins