Action Alert: Support AB 933 (Petrie-Norris and Stone)

                           

 

Action Alert: Support AB 933 (Petrie-Norris and Stone) CALIFORNIA NEEDS WATERSHED COORDINATORS

Coordinators bring together Public - Private Partnerships.

 

Contacts:      Joshua Bradt                        CUStreams@gmail.com

Michael Wellborn                                                michael@watershednetwork.org

 

There are approximately 300 watershed partnerships in California, organized at the regional or local level, accomplishing on-the-ground work of erosion control, range and forest lands management, flood damage reduction, water pollution control, storm water management, water supply management, fire recovery and fuel management, and wildlife and fish habitat restoration. Under the leadership of watershed coordinators, these partnerships include property owners, special districts, local, state and federal agencies and citizen organizations working to help meet public resource management needs through cost efficient means. The watershed coordinators provide the following:

 

1.     Facilitating consensus solutions to resolve contentious resource management issues. These solutions often include the resolution of local flood controversies, fire control plans, endangered species recovery plans, and the adoption and implementation of Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) plans to reduce discharge of pollutants into state waterways.

 

2.     Providing mechanisms for constructive, non-threatening participation by private property owners, public agency property managers, and other entities that might otherwise be hesitant or even hostile to innovative natural resource protection and recovery programs.

 

3.     Leveraging private, local and state resources to attract federal, state and foundation funds.

 

4.     Developing creative solutions for conserving water supplies, managing storm water, recharging groundwater and promoting other water supply augmentation projects.

 

In making our case for the value-added role of watershed coordinators, we suggest considering the coordinators as similar to real estate agents – only working for the watersheds. The issues are often complex, but the coordinators meet with and bring together the various parties, explain and work through the complex issues, and pursue solutions that offer the participants an understanding and fair outcome.

Support AB933 and send letters to: senator.portantino@senate.ca.gov

 Anthony Portantino

Chair of Senate Appropriations Commitee

State Capitol Room   2206

senator.portantino@senate.ca.gov

916-651-4025

Sacramento, Ca 95814

                                                                      

 

Dear Senator Portantino,

 

The California Urban Streams Partenship( CUSP) urges the Senate Natural Resources Committee to support AB933. CUSP  is pleased to be an organizational  sponsor of  AB 933  on behalf of our statewide  organization and partners who collaborate  in the  California Watershed Coalition.This bill which codifies the  existing Department of Conservation Watershed Coordinator Program using a newly stated mission  to support ecosystem resilience measures,  is critical as we enter the difficult era ahead of us for climate change in California.

 

Our efforts to work on this important  bill originated from meetings with leaders of watershed organizations  representing  all regions of the state, rural and urban. These leaders expressed  broad based concerns for endangered species, restoring  habitat for our decreasing populations of salmonids, assisting communities undergoing increased flooding from steams and rivers and inadequate storm water systems,managing forests to  balance wildlife habitat needs with fire safety, and assisting agricultural communites with the challenges of groundwater pollution and uncertain water supplies.The top priorty of all the organizations attending our meetings is the necessity to formalize this Department of Conservation watershed program and assure its future. It’s not often that this diverse a group of stakeholders  produces such an overwhelming consensus on needs and approach. This program will continue to support the work of local governments, districts, resources conservation districts and non-profits to form collaborations, raise funds, involve the public, secure professional  biologists,engineering and planners so that we can carry out the best strategies to address these increasingly challenging environmental management  problems.

 

The California Urban Streams Partnership is a statewide organization with approximately 150 partners. Many of our partner organziations assist disadvantged communities and have a commitment to job creation and training of youth  in environmental restoration and management.  The benefits of AB933 will  be evident in  the improvement of the  environments of our communites but they will be multiplied   through the social and economic benefits that grow from these efforts.

 

Sincerely,

 

 

Josh Bradt

Director, California Urban Streams Partnership