NEWS WORTH NOTING: Wildlife Conservation Board funds environmental projects; State Water Board to solicit public input on suction dredge mining; Sterling Natural Resource Center kicks off project with a new spin on recycling

Wildlife Conservation Board Funds Environmental Improvement and Acquisition Projects

From the Department of Fish and Wildlife:

dfw logoAt its Nov. 16 quarterly meeting, the Wildlife Conservation Board (WCB) approved approximately $28 million in grants to help restore and protect fish and wildlife habitat throughout California, including the Salton Sea. Some of the 17 funded projects will benefit fish and wildlife – including some endangered species – while others will provide the public with access to important natural resources. Several projects will also demonstrate the importance of protecting working landscapes that integrate economic, social and environmental stewardship practices beneficial to the environment, landowners and the local community. The state funds for all these projects come from bond measures approved by voters to help preserve and protect California’s natural resources. Funded projects include:

  • A $14.5 million grant to the California Department of Water Resources for a cooperative project to construct approximately 640 acres of wetland habitat, including deep water channels, shallow ponds, island refugia and nesting structures. The project will enhance habitat for fish-eating birds on the edge of the Salton Sea at the terminus of the New River, seven miles northwest of the City of Westmorland in Imperial County.
  • $2.2 million to acquire approximately 624 acre-feet of water and storage rights in Heenan Lake for protection of the Lahontan cutthroat trout fishery located near Markleeville in Alpine County.
  • A $3.7 million grant to the Land Trust of Napa County for a cooperative project with the State Coastal Conservancy, California Natural Resources Agency and others to acquire a conservation easement over approximately 7,266 acres of land. This will preserve and protect managed forest lands, riparian corridors and watersheds that support rare and special status wildlife species and vegetation near the City of Calistoga in Napa County.
  • A $415,000 grant to the Land Trust of Santa Cruz County for a cooperative project with the State Coastal Conservancy and California Natural Resources Agency to acquire a conservation easement over approximately 133 acres of land. This will protect important watersheds, including stream and source waters, and maintain native terrestrial communities and landscape connectivity near Scotts Valley.
  • A $3.4 million grant to the Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority for a cooperative project with the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy and the County of Los Angeles, to acquire approximately 71 acres of land. This will protect chaparral, coastal sage scrub, native grasslands and oak woodland-savannah habitat, enhance wildlife linkages, protect watersheds and provide future wildlife-oriented public use opportunities near the City of Agoura in Ventura County.

For more information about the WCB please visit www.wcb.ca.gov.

State Water Board to solicit public input on suction dredge mining

From the State Water Board:

State Water Resources Control Board (State Water Board) staff has posted a Public Notice for four upcoming workshops to solicit input from stakeholders and California Native American Tribal interests on how to regulate suction dredge mining at: http://www.waterboards.ca.gov/water_issues/programs/npdes/suction_dredge_mining.shtml .

The workshop Agenda and Frequently Asked Questions are also posted at this link.

Staff of the State Water Board and California Department of Fish and Wildlife will be conducting these workshops in accordance with the requirements of Senate Bill 637 which became effective on January 1, 2016.  The four workshops will be held in Fresno on January 17, 2017; San Bernardino on January 18, 2017; Redding on January 25, 2017; and Sacramento on February 6, 2017.  Please refer to the Public Notice for the times and locations of these workshops.

After the public workshops, State Water Board staff will draft recommendations on how to appropriately regulate suction dredge mining for consideration by the State Water Board.  After staff has prepared the draft recommendations, staff will propose an additional workshop and an adoption hearing where stakeholders and California Native American Tribal interests may speak directly to the State Water Board.  Staff will also provide additional opportunities to submit written comments on the proposed recommendations to regulate suction dredge mining.

Sterling Natural Resource Center Kicks Off Project with a New Spin on Recycling

Hundreds of Supporters Celebrate the Launch of the New Project, Take Pledge to Recycle Water as Part of America Recycles Day

 

Representatives of the Sterling Natural Resource Center (SNRC) joined with the Highland and San Bernardino community Tuesday to celebrate America Recycles Day with the Sterling Natural Resource Community Kick-Off event, Recycle Water, Too!, to launch the much-needed project. The event told a unique message during America Recycles Day: that water, as our most precious resource, should be recycled, too.

From left, Orlando Watkins, 6, Cindy Sarceno, 9, and Brandon Sarceno, 7, look at a 3D model that shows how water is recycled during America Recycles Day celebration, hosted by Sterling Natural Resource Center, Tuesday, Nov. 15, 2016 in Highland, Calif. Photo/Sterling Natural Resource Center, Susan Goldman.

From left, Orlando Watkins, 6, Cindy Sarceno, 9, and Brandon Sarceno, 7, look at a 3D model that shows how water is recycled during America Recycles Day celebration, hosted by Sterling Natural Resource Center, Tuesday, Nov. 15, 2016 in Highland, Calif. Photo/Sterling Natural Resource Center, Susan Goldman.

“Water is our most precious resource,” said Doug Headrick, general manager of the San Bernardino Valley Municipal Water District (Valley District), the lead agency for the SNRC. “While people all over the nation today are doing their part to recycle bottles, cans and newspapers, this community is committed to recycling the most precious resource of all: water.”

Hundreds of people came to the site of the future water reclamation plant to learn more about water recycling and the community benefits of the project. Many took a recycling pledge, while others marveled at an interactive display illustrating the process of water reclamation.

The Sterling Natural Resource Center, once built, will treat up to 10 million gallons of wastewater daily, allowing it to make its way into the Bunker Hill Basin where it will be stored for use in dry years. A community center with demonstration gardens, walking paths, water features and a picnic pavilion will provide meeting space for public and private events.

The SNRC provides a new source of water to prepare for future droughts. It helps to boost water independence and addresses environmental concerns surrounding the project by creating new habitat for the Santa Ana Sucker: establishing new habitat upstream where the fish can thrive.

The San Bernardino Valley Municipal Water District is working in cooperation with East Valley Water District on the SNRC. Both districts tout the project as being an important part of Southern California’s solution to addressing the drought.

“The Sterling Natural Resource Center creates a new supply of water for our region,” said East Valley Water District General Manager John Mura. “Not only does it promote our water independence, it creates new jobs, new educational opportunities, beautiful community gardens and meeting space, and it protects native species with the creation of new habitat farther upstream.”

Tuesday’s Recycle Water, Too! event was the latest in a series of efforts set up to include residents throughout the development of this project. Previous outreach has been done in small group settings and on a door-to-door basis.

For more information, “like” the Sterling Natural Resource Center on Facebook and visit www.sterlingnrc.com .

About Sterling Natural Resource Center

The Sterling Natural Resource Center (SNRC) is an in-progress state-of-the-art facility in HIghland, California, that will provide a sustainable new water supply to boost the region’s water independence. Capable of treating up to 10 million gallons a day, the SNRC recharges the local Bunker Hill Groundwater Basin and creates new opportunities for the surrounding community in the form of education and training, community space, neighborhood improvements, and new habitat for the Santa Ana Sucker fish. Located on North Del Rosa Drive between East Firth and East Sixth Streets in Highland, the SNRC is a project of the San Bernardino Valley Municipal Water District and treats wastewater generated within East Valley Water District’s service area. For more information, visit https://www.facebook.com/SterlingNaturalResourceCenter .

About San Bernardino Valley Municipal Water District
San Bernardino Valley Municipal Water District (Valley District) was formed in 1954 to import supplemental water. As a regional water provider they bring water into its service area through participation in the State Water Project (SWP) and manage groundwater storage within its boundaries. Valley District covers 353 square miles in southwestern San Bernardino County and serves a population of approximately 770,000. The District boundary spans the eastern two-thirds of the San Bernardino Valley, and the cities of San Bernardino, Colton, Loma Linda, Redlands, Rialto, Bloomington, Highland, Mentone, Grand Terrace, and Yucaipa.

About East Valley Water District
East Valley Water District was formed in 1954 and provides water and wastewater collection services to more than 100,000 residents within the City of Highland and portions of both the City and County of San Bernardino. EVWD operates under the direction of a five-member elected Board. More information is available at www.eastvalley.org .

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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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