Today's Law As Amended

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SB-667 Department of Water Resources: riverine and riparian stewardship improvements.(2017-2018)

As Amends the Law Today
As Amends the Law on Nov 27, 2017


 Section 7049 is added to the Water Code, to read:

 (a) Upon an appropriation of funds from the Legislature, the department shall establish a program to implement watershed-based riverine and riparian stewardship improvements by providing technical and financial assistance in support of projects that reduce flood risk, restore and enhance fish populations and habitat, improve water quality, achieve climate change benefits, and in general ensure resilient ecological function within areas that include, but are not limited to, urban or urbanizing areas of the state.
(b) The program shall support the purposes of and be coordinated with the Urban Stream Restoration Program established pursuant to Section 7048, fish passage improvements, and other similar programs to accomplish increased ecological, stream management, climate, and community improvement benefits from state and other funds available for riverine stewardship projects. The department may participate in and support local partnerships, including, but not limited to, in disadvantaged communities, to ensure projects incorporate the best-available science, assessment data, and ecologically relevant practices, and address state and local community needs and priorities.
(c) The program shall include all of the following elements:
(1) Support for partnerships with local agencies, nonprofit organizations, resource conservation districts, and community groups to identify multibenefit opportunities, local needs, and watershed restoration or enhancement objectives. Partnerships shall include local community nonprofit organizations and other state agencies as appropriate and to the degree those agencies and organizations are able to participate.
(2) Early engagement by the department. Engagement in conceptualizing and defining the project shall be prioritized over the design, construction, and operation of a completed project.
(3) Assistance in planning the natural resource restoration, landscaping, and infrastructure elements of a project consistent with appropriate local and regional land use and resource recovery plans.
(4) Design assistance to ensure a project will protect or enhance natural river and stream process and function using the best bioengineering and ecological practices while considering low-impact development, energy and water conservation, and community access and use for local recreation, trails, and other purposes.
(5) Evaluation and assessment processes to monitor success in meeting riverine stewardship goals and community needs.
(6) Assistance, as appropriate, with project administration, including, but not limited to, communication among partnership groups, enhancing the capacity of communities to effectively participate, and looking for and managing various funds obtained for the project.
(7) Plans or schedules delineating the work to be completed by the department and each partner.
(d) The department may provide technical assistance for the purposes of this section either directly or otherwise, including, but not limited to, by collaborating with other state agencies, appropriate California State University or University of California programs, or other similar programs, providing educational development and field experience for students in watershed sciences.
(e) Grant funds available for the purposes of Section 7048 or this section may be available for use by the recipient for design, engineering, and other technical assistance for the purposes of the program.