May is Watershed Awareness Month

The California Watershed Network launched California’s first annual Watershed Awareness Month in May of 2005. This awareness campaign was supported by Governor Schwarzenegger through a proclamation.

Throughout every month of May, volunteer community organizations, educators, and other groups are encouraged to promote the importance of watersheds at the grassroots and community levels by organizing and conducting watershed awareness activities.

Encourage your county and/or city to declare May 2018 as Watershed Awareness Month. Here is a sample proclamation:

_______ County Board of Supervisors / _______ City Council
Watershed Awareness Month
May 2018

            WHEREAS, the _____, the California Watershed Network, and other watershed partnerships, in conjunction with the State of California, annually celebrate Watershed Awareness Month every May; and
            WHEREAS, calling attention to the importance of _____ County / City of ______ watersheds will increase the awareness that we all live in a watershed and how we impact the health and viability of watersheds through our everyday activities; and
            WHEREAS, keeping our watersheds healthy protects public health, water supply and quality, fisheries, wildlife, agriculture, economic development and recreation activities in ______ County / City of ______; and
            WHEREAS, a steadfast dedication to watershed awareness represents a worthy commitment to future generations;
            NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the _____ County Board of Supervisors / ______ City Council hereby proclaim May, 2018 as Watershed Awareness Month in _____ County / City of ______ and urges every citizen of _____ County/ City of ______  to recognize the importance of the watershed in which you live and to commit to keep learning and identifying how you can make a difference, even in your own backyard.

California Watershed Coalition Fall Forum Action Items

Representatives from most of the California Watershed Coalition members met in Berkeley on October 6, 2017 to discuss current issues facing our organizations. The following issues and positions from three of the discussion topics were addressed:

1) Secure a reasonable reimbursement rate for NGOs and local entities under state grant programs for administrative costs, overhead and indirect rates.

Action: Jerry Meral's National Heritage Institute (NHI) proposed water bond for November of 2018 includes good language for overhead recovery and other issues. Coalition members are urged to consider supporting the placement of the water bond on the 2018 ballot.

2) Funding opportunities for watershed or technical assistance in state programs.

Action: Coalition members are urged to consider supporting the Parks Bond on the June 2018 ballot and send letters to the Natural Resources Agency to fund watershed and community-focused technical assistance.

3) Approach the CA Dept of Conservation to fund the watershed coordinator program with Cap and Trade funds.

Action: Coalition members are urged to consider letters to legislators, the Natural Resources Agency and the CA Air Resources Board in support. CalFire was suggested to be approached for funding work in upper watersheds.

The California Watershed Coalition is an ad-hoc collaboration of the:

  • California Watershed Network
  • Sacramento River Watershed Program
  • Salmonid Restoration Federation
  • Sierra Nevada Alliance
  • Sonoma Ecology Center
  • California Urban Streams Partnership
  • Northern California Council, Federation of Fly Fishers
  • California Association of Resource Conservation Districts

CWN Policy Goals for 2016-2018

(Above) Senators Lois Wolk and Fran Pavley receiving their “Watershed Champions” awards from CWN President Michael Wellborn at "Watershed Day at the Capitol" on April 27th.

Following the success of Watershed Day at the Capitol on on April 27th, we have refined our focus on key policy issues for the coming 18 months.
Our five major policy issues include:

  1. Passage of a parks bond for the 2018 ballot (currently AB 2444, Garcia);
  2. Obtaining budget line items for revitalized Urban Streams, Rivers & Parkways and Riverine Stewardship programs;
  3. Continue to pursue legislative corrections for consistent indirect cost (overhead) allowances and advance payment authority to community-based non-profit groups; 
  4. Updating language for a revitalized resource (watershed) coordinator program; and
  5. 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 similar to the proposed 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.

In regards to a Parks Bond being on the 2018 ballot, CWN supports these provisions in particular:

  • $100 million for the river parkways program
  • $100 million for the LA River
  • $20 million for the urban streams restoration program
  • $20 million for the Riverine Stewardship program
  • $100 million for the Strategic Growth Council to develop climate adaptation plans
  • $150 million to the Wildlife Conservation Board to expand wildlife corridors
  • $30 million to the Department of Forestry for urban forestry

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!

Guide to Legislation. To find a bill that is pending in the California Legislature, open this link to the new Digital Democracy page or go direct to the Legislature's menu.

California Watershed Coalition White Paper: Watershed Project Finance Recommendations. Read it.

Calif. Urban Streams Partnership's White Paper: Funding Urban Watershed Projects Recommendations for a 2014 Water Bond. Download here.

Protect statewide volunteerism with AB 587 and SB 644! Read the press release.

Secretary Snow's 2010 White Paper and Action Plan for Integrated Resource Management. Read it.

View the innovative 2008 Statewide Watershed Program Update and the Advisory Committee Members.

Integrating Watershed Principles into IRWMP. Learn more.

Shop at Patagonia. Please consider clicking through from our page; any purchase results in a donation to CWN at no extra cost to you! Thanks!

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