Save the date! Attend "Watershed Day at the Capital" April 27, 2016
Watershed Day is a great opportunity to learn about the political climate regarding the future of watershed restoration in California. It also provides a forum for watershed practitioners and restorationists to meet with their Legislators and let them know that it pays to invest in community-based watershed management.
CWN Policy Goals for 2015-2016
Following the success of “Watershed Day at the Capitol” on April 29th, we have refined our focus on key policy issues for the coming 18 months.
Our five major policy issues include:
- Passage of the volunteer exemption legislation (AB 327, Gordon);
- Obtaining a budget line item for a revitalized resource (watershed) coordinator program;
- Passage of a parks bond in 2016 (SB 317, De Leon);
- Updating language and funding for the Urban Streams and Rivers & Parkways programs (perhaps through AB 965, Garcia); and
- Revising the fiscal structure for achieving dependable funding for multi-benefit stormwater projects such as The Council for Watershed Health's Elmer Avenue project in Southern California (perhaps through AB 1362, Gordon).
We will be working with our partner organizations, the Legislature and the Administration (primarily the Natural Resources Agency and the State Water Resources Control Board) to engage on these common-sense and cost-efficient programs and policies.
Senate Majority Leader Bill Monning at "Watershed Day at the Capitol" on April 29th.
In regards to a possible Parks Bond being on the 2016 ballot, CWN supports the retention of these provisions in particular:
$100 million for river parkways
$100 million for LA River
$20 million for urban streams restoration programs
$100 million for Strategic Growth Council to develop climate adaptation plans
$150 million to Wildlife Conservation Board to expand wildlife corridors
$30 million to Dept. of Forestry for urban forestry
CWN also requests:
- Allocate $2.5 million to the California Conservation Corps and its Watershed Stewards Program for state / local park resources enhancement, stream and habitat restoration, neighborhood water conservation and environmental restoration.
- Restore funds to the Strategic Growth Council’s Urban Greening grant program at $100 million.
- Increase urban streams funding to $30 million for three years of projects.
Critical Issues for Additional Action
There are presently zero dollars for a number of grant programs that have been popular for smaller local agencies and community groups to utilize.
Existing (May, 2015) Funding Levels
- $0 Strategic Growth Council Urban Greening Program
- $0 DWR Urban Streams Restoration Program
- $0 Allocations from bonds to CCC projects
- $0 Natural Resources Agency River Parkway grants
- $0 DOC Watershed Coordinator Program
The documented history of these programs has been quite successful, yet there has been little movement to date in Sacramento to build on them and continue the accomplishments.
Past Bond Act Allocations to Statewide Grant Programs
Propostions 12 and 13, 1999-2000
- $35 million Urban Streams Restoration Program
- $35 million River Parkways grants
- $185 million River Protection grants
- $ 2.5 million CCC resource conservation projects
Propostions 40 and 50, 2002-2003
- $57 million for Integrated Watershed Management Planning and implementation
- $46.4 million for watershed restoration projects
- $100 million to River Parkways grant program
Propostion 84, 2006
- $62 million for river parkways
- $10 million for watershed coordinators
- $18 million Urban Streams Restoration Program
- $90 million urban greening plans
- $90 million urban greening projects
- $45 million to CCC resource conservation and restoration projects
Healthy Communities Toolkit
Download a copy of the Healthy Communities Toolkit, the latest publication from Friends of Harbors, Beaches and Parks that covers planning and financial tools to create healthy communities. It is complete with five case stories of jurisdictions already using these important tools. Check it out!