Ducks Unlimited, Restore the Delta react to Governor’s budget proposal

Reactions to Governor Brown’s budget proposal for emergency drought response funding and implementing the California Water Action Plan with other aspects of his proposal attracting more attention.  Here are the responses from Ducks Unlimited and Restore the Delta.  I’ll add anymore as I find them throughout the day.

From Ducks Unlimited:

ducks unlimited logoDucks Unlimited Statement On Proposed California Budget

Mark Biddlecomb, Ducks Unlimited’s Western Region Director of Operations, made the following statement regarding California Governor Jerry Brown’s proposed budget:

“Today’s budget is a recognition of state and voter approved priorities for conservation and wetlands in California. We are pleased to see the Governor propose $90M of voter approved monies from Proposition 1 State Obligations Funding to help implement the state share of the Central Valley Project Improvement Act. This landmark 1992 agreement between the federal and state governments is the backbone of support for California’s 19 refuges and wildlife areas.

Despite significant progress over the past several decades, more work is needed to complete the necessary infrastructure for water delivery to these critical habitat areas. These dollars can also be utilized to supplement additional water deliveries for conservation purposes, to support water recycling projects for additional environmental benefits, and to implement innovative solutions that benefit ag, urban, and conservation purposes alike.

We are also pleased that the Governor continues to fund wetlands enhancement and restoration as part of the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund, proposing $60M for these purposes to the Department of Fish and Wildlife.  Wetlands serve to filter pollutants and improve water quality, in addition to providing carbon sequestration benefits.  Natural landscapes offer some of the best carbon sink opportunities in California, and we look forward to working with the Governor and his administration in meeting these goals.”

Ducks Unlimited Inc. is the world’s largest nonprofit organization dedicated to conserving North America’s continually disappearing waterfowl habitats. Established in 1937, Ducks Unlimited has conserved more than 13 million acres thanks to contributions from more than a million supporters across the continent. Guided by science and dedicated to program efficiency, DU works toward the vision of wetlands sufficient to fill the skies with waterfowl today, tomorrow and forever. For more information on our work, visit www.ducks.org.

From Restore the Delta:

Gov. Brown Includes $3.6 Million for Delta Tunnels; Water users were to fund project, not taxpayers
Restore the Delta logoIn today’s California Budget Summary for 2016-17, Governor Jerry Brown includes $3.6 million funding for the highly controversial Delta Tunnels project (California WaterFix). The money would come out of the General Fund to the Delta Stewardship Council and is intended to incorporate the Delta Water Tunnels conveyance project into the Delta Plan.

The Delta Plan was originally written for incorporation of the Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP) a plan that failed to meet Federal guidelines for water quality and fishery standards. The new plan for the Delta Tunnels (WaterFix) has already received a failing grade from the Federal EPA. The separated out and reduced conservation effort is now called “EcoRestore.”

Here is the language at issue on page 107 in the pdf.

Update of the Delta Plan—An increase of $3.6 million General Fund for the Delta Stewardship Council to implement the Delta Science Plan and incorporate the WaterFix Delta conveyance project into the Delta Plan.”

The “WaterFix” has not received any of the state or federal permits required to begin construction. The Governor is rushing the permitting process at the California State Water Resources Control Board despite the fact that the best available science needed to evaluate these permits is now more than 20 years old. The Bay-Delta Water Quality control plan is now 7535 days overdue.

Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla, Executive Director of Restore the Delta issued the following statement today:

“Governor Brown promised Californians that no money from Proposition 1 would be used for the Delta tunnels. Now the Governor’s budget is calling for $3.6 million for the Delta Stewardship Council to include the tunnels into the Delta Plan from these same bond funds that have been put into the General Fund. He has broken his promise to taxpayers.

Governor Brown wants to waste more taxpayer money to prop up a hugely controversial project that was supposed to be paid for by the water exporters. It’s time for the madness to end. Let’s redirect available funding to projects that will make California water more resilient to climate change and extended droughts. Water recycling, urban water conservation, groundwater recharging, and storm water capture are all projects that are desperately needed, as we see by the massive flooding in Southern California today. The tunnels fail to address those opportunities. The Delta Tunnels are a 20th Century fix to a 21st Century problem.”

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