News Worth Noting: CA Assembly votes to recognize forests as part of state’s water system; Invasive Species Action Week puts spotlight on habitat invaders; Weekly water and climate update

CA Assembly Votes to Recognize Forests as Part of State’s Water System

Legislation requires source watersheds to be acknowledged as infrastructure

From Pacific Forest Trust:

PrintThe California Assembly took an important first step yesterday to preserve and maintain the source of the state’s water supply.  Assembly Bill 2480, authored by Assemblymember Richard Bloom (D-Santa Monica), requires recognition of key watersheds that feed Shasta and Oroville dams as state infrastructure and a critical component of California’s water system. These five source watersheds provide 80 percent of the state’s reservoir capacity, supplying drinking water for over 25 million people, and provide irrigation for eight million acres of farmland.

“The health of the land that surrounds California’s rivers, lakes and streams is critical to a clean and reliable water supply,” said Laurie Wayburn, President of Pacific Forest Trust. “Regrettably, these lands have been degraded due to development, drought and other impacts of climate change, imperiling water security for millions of Californians.”

Currently, California has policies and systems in place that maintain built water infrastructure such as dams, levees, and canals. However, the state has no policies or systems for ensuring the function of natural water infrastructure, which is essential to providing clean, plentiful water.  Watershed restoration and conservation can increase water quality and quantity, as well as improve flow regulation—both reducing peak flooding and holding water later into summer seasons.

“This law will make sure that the source of our water is treated just like other basic infrastructure that Californians depend on, such as roads, dams and power supplies,” said Wayburn. “It is time to redefine California’s water system to include these landscapes that are so critical to a safe and secure water supply.”

Pacific Forest Trust sustains America’s forests for all their public benefits of wood, water, wildlife, and people’s wellbeing. Learn more at: https://www.pacificforest.org/

California Invasive Species Action Week puts spotlight on habitat invaders

From the Department of Fish and Wildlife:

dfw logoThe California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) will kick off the third annual California Invasive Species Action Week on Saturday, June 4. The goal of Action Week is to promote public awareness of invasive species issues and to encourage public participation in the fight against California’s invasive species and their impacts on our natural resources.

CDFW will be partnering with other departments, agencies, organizations and volunteer programs across California to host more than 45 educational and “action” events including invasive species removals, habitat restoration projects, quagga mussel surveys, field outings, public presentations and youth activities. All events are open to the public, although some require registration. A calendar of events planned for around the state can be found at http://nrm.dfg.ca.gov/filehandler.ashx?documentid=123891&inline.

The California Invasive Species Action Week webpage (www.wildlife.ca.gov/conservation/invasives/action-week) provides information for individuals wishing to participate independently. For example, people can locate recipes for preparing invasive plants or animals, find out where they can purchase certified “weed-free” project materials or livestock forage, find desirable, native alternatives to certain invasive ornamental plants or learn how to monitor plants and trees for symptoms of infestations or diseases. People can also volunteer to “inspect” local waterbodies for quagga and zebra mussels and submit their findings to CDFW on its website.

The winners of the 2016 Invasive Species Youth Art Contest will also be announced the week of June 5. This year’s theme, “The Invader Files,” generated 49 entries from students in second through 12th grade. Entries will be on display throughout California Invasive Species Action Week at the Nimbus Fish Hatchery Visitor’s Center, 2001 Nimbus Rd., Gold River (95670).

Weekly Water and Climate Update: Flooding continues across eastern Texas as wet May continues into June

From the USDA:

US MapThe Natural Resources Conservation Service produces this weekly report using data and products from the National Water and Climate Center and other agencies. The report focuses on seasonal snowpack, precipitation, temperature, and drought conditions in the U.S.

Central and eastern Texas were the center of the heaviest precipitation for the continental U.S. in May. Parts of eastern Texas topped 20 inches for the month. Widespread flooding continues across the eastern half of the state. Each additional precipitation event causes continued or worsening flood conditions for water weary Texans.

Click here to read the report.

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About News Worth Noting:  News Worth Noting is a collection of press releases, media statements, and other materials produced by federal, state, and local government agencies, water agencies, and academic institutions, as well as non-profit and advocacy organizations.  News Worth Noting also includes relevant legislator statements and environmental policy and legal analyses that are publicly released by law firms.  If your agency or organization has an item you would like included here, please email it to Maven.

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