June 2009 Watershed Highlight of the Month

Congratulations to the Association of Conservation Contractors and Workers for their leadership in helping bring us together in response to the bond freeze

Above: David Simpson leading the discussion in Santa Cruz.

In early March of this year, an ad-hoc meeting was added to the agenda of the 27th Salmonid Restoration Conference in Santa Cruz. Reeling from the state Bond Freeze and resulting cutoff of funds for conservation projects, a dozen people gathered in a side room to explore, vent and exchange ideas about the status of conservation projects - past, present and future. Inspired by a committed team of North Coast residents led by David Simpson, the discussion featured status reports from representatives with their projects floundering due to past-due invoices, concerns for projects underway that have had to close down in mid-construction, and potential efforts that could raise the awareness in Sacramento and around the state. The result was the formation of the Association of Conservation Contractors and Workers (ACCW).

The ACCW is made up of a broad, diverse group of organizations and individuals who regularly provide services to and/or enter into contracts with government, non-profit organizations, private landowners or other entities to accomplish projects that protect and increase the health and productivity of the land, air and waters of the state of California.

The mission and purpose of the ACCW is to represent, support and advocate for conservation contractors and workers and the organizations that employ them. The ACCW seeks development of a robust “green” economy and a knowledgeable, empowered workforce. The need for the organization has become apparent in order to respond to the bond freeze funding cut and to protect and restore California’s natural ‘infrastructure’. ACCW will act on behalf of its members to affect policies, laws and public perceptions to enhance the ability to deliver maximum benefit to society in the form of sustainability, productivity and environmental quality. For further information, contact the ACCW at: accw.california@gmail.com.

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