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AB-933 Ecosystem resilience: watershed protection: watershed coordinators.(2019-2020)

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Date Published: 05/17/2019 09:00 PM
AB933:v97#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Assembly  May 17, 2019
Amended  IN  Assembly  April 01, 2019

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2019–2020 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill No. 933


Introduced by Assembly Member Petrie-Norris
(Coauthor: Assembly Member Mark Stone)(Coauthors: Assembly Members Gloria and Mark Stone)
(Coauthor: Senator Dodd)

February 20, 2019


An act to add Division 20.4.5 (commencing with Section 30955) to the Public Resources Code, relating to resource protection.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 933, as amended, Petrie-Norris. Ecosystem resilience: watershed protection: watershed coordinators.
Existing law provides that it is the intent of the Legislature that the state should coordinate and integrate its watershed programs and implement those programs by working with diverse interests at the local level. Existing law provides that the state’s watershed management goals should include maintaining and restoring healthy watersheds that support thriving communities, provide clean water, and sustain natural habitats for future generations.
Existing law provides that there is in the Natural Resources Agency the Department of Conservation. Existing law provides that the work of the department be divided into various divisions, including the Division of Land Resource Protection. Existing law authorizes the department to expend the money in any appropriation or in any special fund in the State Treasury made available by law for the administration of the statutes, the administration of which is committed to the department. Existing law requires these expenditures to be made in accordance with law in carrying out the purposes for which the appropriations were made or the special funds created.
This bill would authorize the department, to the extent funds are available, to establish and administer the Ecosystem Resilience Program to fund watershed coordinator positions, as provided, and other necessary costs, throughout the state for the purpose of achieving specified goals, including the goal of developing and implementing to develop and implement watershed improvement plans plans, and other enhancement plans, aligned with multiple statewide and regional objectives across distinct bioregions. The bill would authorize the department to develop performance measures and accountability controls to track progress and outcomes. The bill would require, on or before January 31, 2022, and every 3 years thereafter, until January 31, 2028, the department to track and report those outcomes to the relevant fiscal and policy committees of the Legislature. The bill would require the department to adopt guidelines, as provided, to implement the above provisions.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NO  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:
(a) California’s watershed systems play a critical role in delivering vital water supplies to people throughout the state and serve as a critical habitat for countless species.
(b) Climate change and the increased frequency of fires are putting pressure on the natural processes of the state’s watersheds and impacting their overall health.
(c) Because watersheds vary greatly across different geographies of the state, regionally tailored watershed management efforts are necessary for success.
(d) Previous funding for watershed coordinators had a sevenfold return on investment and helped build local awareness and support for management efforts.

SEC. 2.

 Division 20.4.5 (commencing with Section 30955) is added to the Public Resources Code, to read:

DIVISION 20.4.5. Ecosystem Resilience and Watershed Protection

30955.
 (a) To the extent funds are available from bonds, special funds, or other sources, the Department of Conservation may establish and administer the Ecosystem Resilience Program to fund watershed coordinator positions, and other necessary costs, throughout the state for the purpose of achieving all of the following goals:
(1) Developing and implementing Develop and implement watershed improvement plans plans, and other enhancement plans, aligned with multiple statewide and regional objectives across distinct bioregions.
(2) Bringing Bring diverse stakeholders, including, but not limited to, government agencies, nonprofit organizations, businesses, landowners, and individuals together to implement collaborative efforts to improve California’s watersheds.
(3) Identifying and securing Identify and secure additional funds for watershed improvement projects projects, and other enhancement projects, to leverage and amplify available state funding for the watershed coordinator positions.
(4) Educating Educate residents of the watersheds on how to best manage and care for them.
(b) In implementing the Ecosystem Resilience Program, the Department of Conservation may develop distinct subprograms to address the unique nature of urban, rural, agricultural, forested, and other geographically distinct watersheds and their ecosystems, including, but not limited to, the following topics: ecosystems to achieve all of the following goals:
(1) Urban watersheds, Improve watershed health, with a focus on urban streams and rivers.
(2) Urban and Reduce polluted water runoff.
(3) Agricultural land and riparian land stewardship.
(4) Healthy forest management.
(5) Fish Fish, aquatic, avian, riparian, and other wildlife habitat recovery with an emphasis on threatened and endangered species.
(6) Natural infrastructure stormwater capture.
(7) Multibenefit flood reduction.
(8) Groundwater recharge.
(c) Entities eligible for funding pursuant to the Ecosystem Resilience Program include, but are not limited to, nonprofit organizations organizations, federally recognized Native American tribes, nonfederally recognized California Native American tribes listed on the California Tribal Consultation List maintained by the Native American Heritage Commission, and state and local agencies, including resource conservation districts.
(d) (1) In order to ensure accountability of work being completed through the Ecosystem Resilience Program, the Department of Conservation may develop performance measures and accountability controls to track progress and outcomes. On
(2) (A) On or before January 31, 2022, and every three years thereafter, the Department of Conservation shall track and report the outcomes to described in paragraph (1) to the relevant fiscal and policy committees of the Legislature.
(B) The reporting requirement pursuant to subparagraph (A) shall become inoperative on January 31, 2028.
(e) (1) The Department of Conservation shall adopt guidelines to implement this section. The adoption, amendment, or repeal of a guideline authorized by this section is hereby exempted from the rulemaking provisions of the Administrative Procedure Act (Chapter 3.5 (commencing with Section 11340) of Part 1 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code).
(2) The Department of Conservation shall develop a process for public comment and review of the guidelines that involves three public hearings in three different parts of the state before the adoption of those guidelines.