Summary: Proposition 1, which California voters approved on November 4, 2014, is a general obligation bond in the amount of $7.545 billion. It includes funding for ecosystems and watershed protection and restoration, water supply infrastructure projects, including surface and groundwater storage, and drinking water protection. The bond will aid in further implementation of the California Water Action Plan and the ten core principles in that plan. The California Water Action Plan was a multi-agency effort guided by input from scientists, engineers, policy experts and feedback from the public that was released in January 2014. The bond allocates $100.5 million to the State Coastal Conservancy for the purposes described in Section 79732 of Chapter 6 of the Water Bond to protect and restore California rivers, lakes, streams, and watersheds.
Development of Guidelines: The Coastal Conservancy is developing project solicitation and evaluation guidelines for water bond implementation and will conduct three public meetings throughout the state in the first half of 2015 to seek and consider public comments prior to finalizing the guidelines by mid-2015. The draft solicitation and evaluation guidelines will be posted at www.scc.ca.gov at least 30 days before the public meetings. All guidelines will be reviewed by the Secretary for Natural Resources and all guidelines will be posted to a Natural Resources Agency website.
Funding Availability: The Coastal Conservancy anticipates availability of a portion of the $100.5m at the start of the 2015/16 fiscal year, at which time projects will be solicited following our established guidelines and will be evaluated and taken to the Coastal Conservancy board for consideration at public meetings.
The California State Coastal Conservancy (Conservancy) announces the availability of funding through its Climate Ready program. This round of Climate Ready grants is made possible by an appropriation into the new California Climate Resilience Account, created by legislation sponsored by Assemblyman Gordon, to address the risks and impacts of climate change, sea level rise, and associated extreme events to coastal and bay communities and natural resources. (more…)
Big Sur Beach by Jeff Chou Flickr Creative Commons
Thanks to State Senator Mark Leno and the Natural Resources Defense Council, a state resolution (SJR 20) passed through the legislature in August of 2014 that salutes the 50th anniversary of the state’s leadership and innovation in coastal planning and management and proclaims February 16, 2015, and each third Monday in February thereafter as “Safeguard Our Coast Day”.
Ann Notthoff of the Natural Resources Defense Council put it well: “Our coast defines us Californians. We have the best coastal management system in the world. Thanks to that and strong public support, California’s coast is beautiful, our tourism economy is booming and the marine life that call it home have a healthy future. Constant pressures will always mean the coast and ocean are never “saved,” but we are lucky to have a coastal program that gives us the tools to keep our coast as healthy as possible. “ (more…)
by Kevin Cortopassi, Flickr Creative Commons
My Lawn Is a Lovely Shade Of Brown
by Sam Schuchat, Coastal Conservancy Executive Officer
A great many lawns are a lovely shade of brown in California right now as we are well into the third year of the worst drought since the 1970s. That includes the lawn around our state capital, which the Department of General Services let die. There isn’t very much anyone can do in the short run about the drought, other than conserve as much water as possible and hope that next winter is at least a “normal” winter if not a wetter than normal winter. In the long run however, there are plenty of things we can do, particularly in our coastal cities, to adjust to the realities of periodic droughts and the impacts of climate change on our water system.
The State Coastal Conservancy is now accepting applications for 2015 Sea Otter Recovery Grants. The grants will be funded with monies from the voluntary tax check-off box for sea otter recovery. Public agencies and nonprofit organizations are eligible to apply for the grants (see application instructions for details). Eligible projects include research, science, protection projects or programs related to the Federal Sea Otter Recovery Plan or improving the nearshore ocean ecosystem, including, but not limited to, program activities to reduce sea otter mortality. (more…)
With funding from the Coastal Conservancy, State Park and California Conservation Corps trail crews are installing a new footbridge and repairing connecting trails in Garrapata State Park in northern Big Sur, May 20, 2014.