Current Grantees California Watershed Protection Fund

Fall 2015 GRANTEES

The Butte Environmental Council (BEC)
Northern Sacramento Valley Water Protection Project
$10,000
Region/Watershed: Sacramento Valley
Supports locally-based education and outreach to Butte County citizens and other nearby counties to collaboratively encourage sustainable solutions to threats in the Sacramento River Watershed. The northern Sacramento Valley is home to the last major healthy aquifer system in California. Sacramento River tributaries Butte Creek and Feather River are threatened by surface water diversions from irrigation districts that can make far more money shipping water south than through local deliveries. And the local creeks, which would normally recharge the rivers, are fed by the groundwater aquifer, which is being drawn down by massive groundwater pumping projects. The goal of the project is to help community members digest complicated water policy and project proposals, and to provide a local Butte County voice in the development of the newly-mandated Groundwater Sustainability Plan.

Central Sierra Environmental Resource Center
General Support
$13,500
Region/Watershed: Sierra Nevada/San Joaquin River Watershed
Supports water quality testing, field monitoring, community outreach and policy advocacy to protect water quality, watershed health, aquatic species, and downstream water users of San Joaquin Delta tributaries Mokelumne, Stanislaus, Tuolumne and Merced Rivers in relation to post-Rim Fire salvage logging and recovery efforts, as well as ongoing livestock grazing.

Daily Acts
General Support
$20,000
Region/Watershed: SF Bay Area/Sonoma County Watersheds
Supports the expansion of two existing initiatives, the Greywater Installation Program and the Community Resilience Challenge, and the launch of the Water Warriors Challenge, a youth-focused water stewardship education program. Funding will be matched 1:1 from partner organizations to implement the Water Warriors program throughout Sonoma County, will support dozens of households wanting to install greywater systems, and will train 35-40 students to perform water audits and to train classmates.

Del Amo Action Committee
General Support
$18,000
Region/Watershed: Southern California/SoCal Bight
Supports a community-driven stakeholder process with state and federal agencies to investigate a historical stormwater pathway that carried DDT, PCBs and other chlorinated chemicals such as cholrobenzene into the Dominguez Channel and Long Beach Harbor. The need for the project is particularly acute – recent development activities adjacent to the former stormwater channel have uncovered these chemicals, exposing local residents in nearby low-income communities of color to toxic dust in addition to exacerbating the stormwater pollution.

EarthTeam
ZERO LITTER: A Student-Led Community Project to Protect our Local Watersheds
$14,850
Region/Watershed: San Francisco Bay Area/SF Bay
Supports Zero Litter, a hands-on environmental education and outreach program that works with high schools students and their communities to protect San Francisco Bay Area watersheds in Alameda and Contra Costa County, identifying land-based litter sources, monitoring water quality in local creeks and storm drains, and promoting Community Projects that engage students, teachers and community leaders in local litter abatement and cleanup activities around participating schools. There is also an environmental education focus where students learn how reducing litter and storm water pollution supports healthy watersheds, protects human health and provides healthy habitats for fish and wildlife.

Food & Water Watch
Stop the Tunnels Campaign
$20,000
Region/Watershed: Southern California/SoCal Bight
Supports public outreach throughout the Los Angeles area to educate ratepayers and decision makers about the value of local water initiatives that would reduce Southern California’s dependence on imported water. Instead of investing up to $5,000 per household in new infrastructure to pipe water from the Sacramento/San Joaquin Delta, Food & Water Watch advocates investing these funds in improving local stormwater infrastructure – capturing rainwater for groundwater recharge, and in cisterns and home rain barrels for direct use – while significantly reducing the volume of stormwater runoff. Reducing the volume of stormwater runoff also facilitates treatment opportunities to remove pollutants from the system before they impact local streams and beaches.

Foothill Conservancy
General Support
$5,500
Region/Watershed: Sierra Nevada/ San Joaquin River Watershed
Supports the work of Foothill Conservancy to protect, conserve and sustain the natural and cultural features of the Mokelumne River and its watershed for the benefits they provide to people, aquatic species and other wildlife. Activities will include continued participation in the MokeWISE stakeholder process to track the progress of a broad portfolio of water projects and studies, active involvement to represent community interests in the Mokelumne-Amador-Calaveras Integrated Regional Watershed Management group (including advocacy of rain catchment projects benefitting disadvantaged communities), helping to mobilize community participation in post-Butte Fire restoration activities, and providing community input into the Ecological Resources Committee process that is tracking impacts from hydropower operations on the Mokelumne River.

Maven’s Notebook
Fiscal Sponsor: Trust for Conservation Innovation
General Support
$12,500
Region/Watershed: Statewide/Sacramento-San Joaquin Watershed
Supports the work of Maven’s Notebook, a highly-regarded website which tracks how activities of state agencies, major planning processes and legislation affect the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta watershed. The value of Maven’s Notebook is that it does not take sides in California’s often-acrimonious debate over water supply issues. Instead, it is a reliable and accurate information source, providing unbiased summaries of important public meetings, conferences, published reports and other issues rarely followed in detail by the mainstream media. Maven’s Notebook is more than simply a compilation – its explanatory tools help both casual readers and policy leaders navigate complex planning documents to find the information they need about Delta watershed issues.

Occidental Arts & Ecology Center
WATER Institute Bring Back the Beaver Campaign
$30,000
Region/Watershed: SF Bay Area/ Sonoma County Watersheds
Beaver dams can improve water quality by reducing suspended sediments in the water column, moderating upstream temperatures, improving nutrient cycling and storing contaminants. However, many agencies and landowners in Sonoma County manage beaver as nuisances rather than strategically stewarding them to maximize water quality benefits. The Bring Back the Beaver Campaign focuses on restoring beaver to optimize aquatic resource conservation, fisheries recovery and climate change adaptation strategies. Activities include outreach to landowners, regulators and restoration practitioners, using OAEC’s proprietary CASTOR mapping software to cooperatively select beaver demonstration sites with tribal, community and governmental leaders, and convening a Beaver Stewardship Committee develop recommendations regarding beaver management practices in Sonoma County and beyond.

The Otter Project / Monterey Coastkeeper
2017 Irrigated Lands Regulatory Program
$29,500
Region/Watershed: Central Coast/Monterey Bay Watershed
Historically, agricultural runoff has largely been considered exempt from federal and state clean water requirements imposed on most other businesses. However, this exemption carries a heavy public health burden – according to UC Davis, over 250,000 people in the Salinas Valley are at risk for nitrate contamination of their drinking water. This “Ag Waiver” of normal clean water regulations undergoes periodic regulatory renewal, which provides an opportunity for clean water advocates to push for tighter oversight over agricultural contaminants including pesticides, herbicides, fertilizers, sediments and animal waste. Additionally, a recent court ruling has now encouraged the Central Coast Regional Water Board to rethink its Ag Waiver standards and promulgate new regulations that would be more protective of the Monterey Bay watershed and human health – a process that will be closely watched by agricultural and environmental interests throughout California. The goal of the project is to provide community-based scientific input into the process of writing the new Ag Waiver for the direct benefit of the Monterey Bay watershed and as a blueprint for agricultural areas throughout the state.

Return of the Natives Restoration Education Project of the University Corporation at Monterey Bay
Fiscal Sponsor: University Corporation at Monterey Bay
Creeks to the Bay in Salinas: Going Beyond Water Quality
$20,000
Region/Watershed: Central Coast/Monterey Bay Watershed
Supports a watershed education/water quality improvement program that mobilizes marginalized populations in Salinas to work with Cal State Monterey university students on a variety of watershed protection projects in the Monterey/Salinas area. University students affiliated with CSUMB’s Watershed Initiative will work with teachers, elementary and middle school students, and their families to implement a series of service learning projects including restoring riparian areas, conducting beach cleanups and trash surveys, taking water quality readings, counting birds, and catch and release of aquatic indicator species.

The River Project
Water LA Collaborative
$28,500
Region/Watershed: Southern California/SoCal Bight
Residential properties, which comprise 60% of Los Angeles’ developed land areas, are dominated by irrigation-intensive lawns and housing/landscape designs intended to drain rainwater to the streets and storm drains. Funding supports the initial development of a strategic plan & a set of agreements for Water LA, a new NGO-led collaborative which will channel the expertise of environmental non-profits, green infrastructure specialists and businesses to collectively facilitate widespread adoption of distributed residential stormwater retrofits (as well as greywater systems and rain tanks) across Los Angeles to aid groundwater recharge, and capture potable water which is currently flushed into storm drains. A critical need exists for consistent methods, means, and messaging to support the rapid rate of residential adoption that the LA Department of Water & Power’s Stormwater Capture Master Plan and the Los Angeles Enhanced Watershed Management Plans rely on to meet their objectives, which include reducing the volume of stormwater runoff and facilitating treatment opportunities to remove pollutants from the system before they impact local streams and beaches.

 


 

Spring 2015 Grantees

Battle Creek Alliance
For the Battle Creek Protection Project
$6,500
Region: North Central & East
Supports ongoing water quality monitoring and data collection at 13 sites in the Battle Creek portion of the Sacramento River watershed. The primary theme of the monitoring is to document impacts from timber harvesting and related timber industry land management activities. These impacts include sedimentation from logging roads, as well as herbicide and nutrient runoff. The monitoring data will be reviewed by pro-bono university professors, and Battle Creek Alliance has secured the assistance of professional hydrologists to utilize the data for reports to governmental agencies and related policy recommendations seeking tighter regulations of logging impacts, such as requirements to better control runoff, erosion and sedimentation. A portion of the funds also supports the dissemination of the film “Clearcut Nation,” a documentary that describes the impacts of industrial logging on the Sacramento River watershed in order to help raise media and general public attention about the impacts of clearcutting on habitat and water quality.

Bay.org
For Retiring the Toxic Lands in Westlands to Help the San Francisco Bay-Delta
$14,650
Region: Central Valley
Decades of irrigation of hundreds of thousands of acres of salty, drainage-impaired lands on the west side of the San Joaquin Valley have led to a tremendous buildup of toxic selenium and other contaminants. The resulting runoff has been implicated in large-scale ecological disasters (for example, the massive bird kills at the Kesterson National Wildlife Refuge), and annual irrigation continues to send pulses of toxic discharge to downstream aquatic habitats. Funding supports the Bay Institute’s effort to focus regulatory and agency attention on resolving the environmental and water quality problems caused by irrigating these drainage-impaired lands. Reducing the amount of agricultural drainage by retiring west-side drainage-impaired lands would significantly improve the water quality of the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta and revitalize the entire San Francisco Bay–Delta ecosystem, and promote the recovery of endangered species.

California Water Impact Network
For the Coastal Southern California Water Education Program
$16,000
Region: Southern Coast
Supports C-WIN’s efforts to educate Southern California’s coastal residents about reliable, sustainable and affordable water supply and water quality improvement alternatives, including conservation, recycling and stormwater capture, with a primary focus on Los Angeles’ Stormwater Capture Master Plan. The 2009 State Water Plan forecast that 2.25 million acre feet of water could be recovered by recycling, with the bulk of the projected recovery in Los Angeles and other cities located along the Southern California Bight. Ongoing drought and climate change also make it imperative to educate the public about locally-based opportunities that would meet community needs while reducing reliance on imported water supplies. According to the Scoping Plan for California’s landmark 2006 Global Warming Solutions Act, 333,000 acre feet of stormwater could be annually captured for reuse in Southern California – a crucial drought-response strategy to alleviate pressure on local watersheds as well as reduce reliance on imported water. The Los Angeles and San Gabriel River Watershed Council has estimated that immediate steps employing current technology could reduce stormwater volume by 30%. Reducing the volume of stormwater discharge aids groundwater recharge to build the local water table and increase flows to the region’s seasonal streams, and also allows greater levels of treatment on the remaining runoff, thus leading to cleaner municipal and industrial stormwater runoff through the region.

Californians for Pesticide Reform
For Reducing Pesticide Use to Improve Monterey Bay Water Quality
$40,500
Region: Central Coast
The Central Valley Water Board has acknowledged that pesticides are causing serious damage to Central Coast watersheds and state monitoring programs have documented high levels of chemicals from agricultural areas entering local waterways (CCRWQCB, March 2011). Funding supports CPR’s ongoing efforts to protect water quality and public health by reducing hazardous pesticide use in Monterey. Activities include educating and training Central Coast community members on pesticide and water quality issues, and leveraging public pressure to push state and regional agencies to strengthen rules limiting pesticide use that harms water quality and public health. Much of the focus will be on highly volatile pesticides, which are prone to drifting onto neighboring homes, schools and waterways. Those most linked to toxicity in surface water —notably chlorpyrifos— are also susceptible to leaching into groundwater, especially given the shallow water table and permeable soils in much of the Monterey Bay area.

Center for Community Action and Environmental Justice
Accountability, Compliance, Enforcement (ACE) Project
$31,500
Region: Southern Coast
The Santa Ana River is a primary tributary to the Southern California Bight and drains a significant part of San Bernardino and Riverside Counties to the ocean near Huntington Beach. Funding supports protection of the Santa Ana River watershed through CCAEJ’s Accountability, Compliance and Enforcement Program, a community-based environmental problem-solving program which augments agency actions to enhance local environmental protection. Activities include developing a curriculum on water resource stewardship and training teams of local residents in watershed monitoring. The goal is to bring the eyes and ears of informed, trained and engaged local residents in identifying, researching and investigating violations of the Clean Water Act through focusing public awareness to the problem, compiling a list of non compliant industries and encouraging compliance with state and federal water quality standards through public pressure and legal advocacy.

Clean Water Fund
Source Water Protection in San Joaquin River Watershed
$31,500
Region: Central Valley
Supports the Clean Water Fund’s efforts to promote solutions that reduce or eliminate nutrient discharges in the San Joaquin Delta. The project’s goal is to communicate the impacts of Central Valley water contamination on small disadvantaged communities to the public and decision-makers, and to ensure that quantifiable data drives the development of actions and recommendations to limit nutrient discharges. The project will revolve around participation in the Salt and Nutrients Advisory Group, a stakeholder process tasked with determining the linkages between high nutrient levels and water quality impairments such as invasive aquatic plants and algae blooms. To model the data, CWF and SNAG will use the nutrient management program in the Chesapeake Bay, the largest estuary on the east coast. The Chesapeake Bay TMDL for nutrients and phosphorus calls for reductions in the 20 – 25% range for nitrogen, phosphorus and sediments, and for a 60% achievement of target levels by 2017. Since the Chesapeake process is already underway, it has started to produce rigorous data-sets that quantify the impacts of the TMDL-driven reductions.

Thus, the Chesapeake data provides a basis to estimate and quantify anticipated water quality benefits from similar types of actions in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. At 75,000 square miles the Delta is somewhat larger than the 64,000 square mile Chesapeake; however, the regions exhibit many overall similarities, including significant acres of irrigated farmland, meaning that agricultural return flows tend to be dominated with pesticides, sediments and nutrients. This is particularly true for the project’s main focus area, a 850,000 acre region defined by the state’s Irrigated lands Regulatory Program which is centered around Stanislaus, Merced and San Joaquin Counties (ie – within 50 miles of the facility in Merced). In addition to helping lead the stakeholder group process, activities will include review of Farm Evaluation Reports that collect best management practices data from 3,600 farms in the region. This data will help target follow-up grower education, erosion control and nutrient management plans.

Earthjustice
For Restoring the Bay Delta
$10,000
Region: Sacramento Valley
Supports Earthjustice’s efforts to protect the Sacramento River watershed and the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta ecosystem through ending the chronic over-pumping of fresh water by the jointly operated federal Central Valley Project (CVP) and California’s State Water Project (SWP) for distant agricultural and municipal uses, which undermines the ecosystem, the survival of imperiled native fish such as the Sacramento River’s runs of salmon, sustainable agriculture in the Delta, and California’s commercial and sport fishing industries. Earthjustice will continue to provide free legal counsel to conservationists, fishing interests, and Native Americans in their efforts to obtain and enforce federal Endangered Species Act (ESA) protections for salmon and delta smelt and their habitats, as a means of protecting the Sacramento River watershed and the Bay-Delta ecosystem.
Source: CSPA v. Pick & Pull (Rocklin) ($10,000)

Environmental Water Caucus
For the California Water Solutions Project
$27,000
Region: Statewide
Supports EWC’s California Water Solutions Project, a multi-year, statewide educational and advocacy project aiming to convince Californians and their decision makers that ecosystem-friendly “soft path” water supply solutions including groundwater recharge, stormwater capture, water recycling and water efficiency must be a vital part of any plan to protect the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta from current threats of massive new water exports out of the region. Activities will center around advocating for soft path solutions in the pending re-release of the Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP), and related advocacy and public education promoting Bay-Delta water protections at the State Water Resources Control Board. Deliverables will include completing and distributing a revised and updated California Water Solutions Plan, and extensive technical comments on the re-circulated and revised Draft BDCP EIR/S and Implementing Agreement, and the revised draft Substitute Environmental Document on Phase 1 San Joaquin River flow and South Delta salinity objectives by the State Water Board.

Friends of the River
Campaign to Save the SF Bay-Delta from the Twin Tunnels and Upstream Storage
$21,500
Region: San Francisco Bay Area
Supports policy advocacy, media outreach, and broad public outreach directed towards protecting the Sacramento River watershed and its downstream San Francisco Bay-Delta waters from a suite of water development projects that would degrade the water quality of the Sacramento River – a water source that millions of Californians rely on for water supply, jobs and recreation – and lead to the ecological collapse of the sensitive Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta. At the center of the proposed water infrastructure projects is a proposal to build two massive tunnels through the Delta to transfer more water from the Sacramento River to southern California. The tunnels project is driving plans for new and expanded dams on the Sacramento River, as well as the Merced and San Joaquin Rivers, to provide the water to fill the tunnels. Primary outreach and public advocacy will revolve around opposing the proposed raise of the Shasta Dam on the Sacramento River. In addition to decreasing downstream flows, raising the Shasta Dam would flood cultural sites of the Winnemen Wintu tribe on Sacramento tributary the McCloud River – a project the US Fish and Wildlife Service has also opposed as being damaging to Sacramento River fisheries. Additional activities will include opposing the proposed Sites Reservoir in Colusa County, which would also divert large quantities of water from the Sacramento River. As alternatives, FOR will promote sustainable water solutions so people can meet their water needs without destroying more of our waterways.

Friends of the San Francisco Estuary
For the San Francisco Bay-Delta Estuary Freshwater Flows Campaign
$20,000
Region: San Francisco Bay Area
Supports protection of the Sacramento River Delta by advocating for improved freshwater flows from the Sacramento and San Joaquin Rivers into the Bay-Delta estuary. These flows are necessary for the recovery of listed Delta species and to provide conditions for a healthy aquatic ecosystem. The campaign consists of a large-scale volunteer-based effort to meet with local governmental officials including city council members, mayors and supervisors, as well as legislators throughout the Delta region to generate freshwater flows resolutions modeled on the resolution passed by the Association of Bay Area Governments in 2012. To date, ten government entities in seven of the twelve San Francisco Bay and Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta counties have adopted a water flows resolution. Funding will support expansion of the campaign to Solano, Sacramento and Yolo counties – all within 50 miles of the facility’s location in Davis. Through the process of seeking passage of water flows resolutions, the project will educate and motivate local public officials to stand up for Delta water quality. Specific activities include policy updates, meetings, and requests for comments, letters, and attendance at hearings that affect decisions related to freshwater flows.

Golden Gate Salmon Association
For the Implementation of Salmon Rebuilding Plan
$20,000
Region: Statewide
Supports GGSA’s goals to secure more freshwater flows and healthy spawning, rearing, and migratory habitat in the Sacramento River basin and the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta, and to reverse the damage done by human development of Central Valley rivers and their tributaries so that they are more hospitable to salmon. For example, according to a joint 2010 study released by the California Department of Water Resources, US Bureau of Reclamation and California Department of Fish and Wildlife, high losses of juvenile salmon are associated with operations of state and federal water export facilities because fish are sucked into the huge Delta pumps and up to 100% predation of juvenile salmon occurs at the end of the pipes that currently return salvaged fish to the Delta. The GGSA project team has developed and is implementing a 26-project restoration plan with guidance from state and federal fish, wildlife and water agencies, and starting in 2013 several projects were adopted and implemented.

Their goal for the upcoming year is to see implementation of more salmon rebuilding projects that will result in more salmon in California. The efforts of GGSA also secures habitat for a host of other species, sustainable agriculture and jobs in fishing-related industries. Activities will include encouraging expedited permitting of 13 restoration sites along the Sacramento River which have been identified by the Bureau of Reclamation and Department of Water Resources as high-value targets, promote a pilot project to demonstrate that alternative fish release strategies that return salvaged fish to net pens (allowing them to acclimate before release) can significantly reduce mortality rates, promote the removal of a large pipe near the Freeport Wastewater Treatment Plant in Sacramento which forces fish to pass through a confined area and has been identified as a major hotspot for juvenile fish predation, and promote continued trucking of hatchery fish to appropriate release points to help mitigate drought impacts (which have made many traditional release points near hatcheries untenable).

Greenaction for Health and Environmental Justice
For the San Francisco Bay Climate Justice Project
$14,000
Region: San Francisco Bay Area
Supports public outreach and education to protect the San Francisco Bay watershed and residents of San Francisco Hunters Point/Bayview community from toxic contamination, and the threat posed by rising sea levels and climate change. Activities will revolve around multilingual (English, Spanish and Chinese) outreach to 2,000 local residents with fact sheets, workshops and presentations, as well as broad media outreach to educate local residents and the general public about the threat from contamination of the former shipyard, which is on the shores of San Francisco Bay and leaches a variety of toxics into the Bay. Some of these areas are also popular fishing spots used by the community, providing another pathway for human exposure to the contaminants. Public education also includes threats of rising sea levels due to climate change – such sea level rise could overflow or erode current containment caps and structures, causing more toxic leachate.

The project’s goal is to teach residents in one of the Bay Area’s most disadvantaged communities how to be watchdogs over local pollution problems and advocate with government and industry to ensure remediation and/or mitigation of toxic sites near the San Francisco Bay waterfront, with a major focus on the Hunter Point Naval Shipyard Superfund site and other contaminated bayfront Brownfields sites. Greenaction representatives speak at government and industry meetings and submit comments advocating for cleanup of contamination wherever possible and for effective measures (such as seawalls) to protect the bayshore pollution sites from inundation. Greenaction representatives will also engage local government agencies in climate resiliency and adaptation planning, including advocating for San Francisco to improve its Climate Action Plan to address toxic sites along the Bay.

Los Padres ForestWatch
For the Sespe Clean Water Initiative
$18,000
Region: Southern Coast
Supports field investigation to measure erosion and associated impacts to water quality from the Sespe Oil Field. The project’s goal is to quantify the erosion and analyze the downstream impacts from portions of the Sespe Oil Field, located on National Forest lands in the Sespe Creek watershed, which is designated critical habitat for endangered steelhead and provides a source of clean water for downstream farms and cities in the Santa Clara River watershed, an important tributary to the Southern California Bight. Past studies, including a recently published U.C. Santa Barbara study of runoff from oilfields in northern Ventra County, have identified significant sediment loading associated with roads and well pads, and measured significant negative impacts to water quality in these receiving coastal watersheds. Project activities involve water quality sampling and erosion surveying of oil field access roads and publicly-accessible accessible well pads. The information generated through this project will be used to provide evidence of erosion-related oil field impacts to water quality, and support enforcement of environmental regulations and encouragement of best management practices.

Orange County Coastkeeper
For the Orange County Marine Resource Protection Project
$27,000
Region: Southern Coast
Supports Orange County Coastkeeper’s efforts to stop the development of the Poseidon Huntington Beach Desalination Project as it is currently designed. As proposed, the project would utilize an open ocean intake and outfall that will impact marine life and water quality along a 60 mile stretch of the Southern California Bight from Palos Verdes to Dana Point – an area which is already highly stressed from urban stormwater runoff. The primary negative water quality impacts from the proposed facility would be the impingement and entrainment of marine organisms, and the release of concentrated salty brine. If permitted to go forward, the facility would also set a statewide precedent for the use of open ocean intakes and outfalls for desalination plants – and expansion of antiquated once-through cooling technology that many agencies such as the California Coastal Commission and Ocean Protection Council consider obsolete and due for phase-out. Project activities will involve widespread outreach to mobilize the public and a coalition of environmental and community groups to oppose the project at the California Coastal Commission and Orange County Water District. In addition to educating the public and decision makers about the high energy costs of desal and the negative impacts of releasing the brine by-product, Coastkeeper will encourage the Poseidon proponents to work with the Coastal Commission’s Independent Science Technical Advisory panel to investigate sub-surface water intakes, thereby significantly reducing marine organism mortality associated with surface intake.

Residents for Responsible Desalination
For the Coastal Commission CDP Appeal Brief
$12,000
Region: Southern Coast
Supports local community-based efforts to stop the development of the Poseidon Huntington Beach Desalination Project. The proposed Poseidon project would utilize an open ocean intake and outfall that will damage marine life and water quality along a 60 mile stretch of the Southern California Bight from Palos Verdes to Dana Point – an area which is already highly stressed from urban stormwater runoff. The primary negative water quality impacts from the proposed facility would be the impingement and entrainment of marine organisms, and the release of concentrated salty brine. Funding will support technical review of the Poseidon applicant and related community outreach to mobilize the public to oppose the project at the California Coastal Commission and Orange County Water District. As an alternative to expensive and environmentally damaging ocean desal, R4RD advocates for enhanced watershed management to increase groundwater recharge. The Santa Ana River watershed and its basin aquifers currently comprise about 40% of Orange County’s fresh water supply, with primary groundwater recharge being simple seepage. The Orange County Water District is already utilizing reverse osmosis technology to treat recycled wastewater to potable standards for groundwater recharge. R4Rd believes investment in further treatment technology to facilitate more widespread groundwater recharge would be a far more cost-effective and environmentally-beneficial approach than ocean desal.

San Francisco Baykeeper
For Protecting San Francisco Bay and the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta from Pollution
$45,000
Region: San Francisco Bay Area
Supports Baykeeper’s ongoing work to protect San Francisco Bay and the entire Bay-Delta watershed through water quality monitoring, science, and on-the-water patrols to identify the greatest threats to the health of the Bay and Delta ecosystem. Activities include public education, policy development, and regulatory and legal advocacy to secure solutions that stop pollution and restore water quality. Objectives include: improving municipal wastewater treatment through the development of new standards that would reduce nitrogen and phosphorus, and through periodic review of East Bay municipalities’ compliance towards established 20-year upgrade goals; promoting green infrastructure solutions to reduce municipal stormwater discharges and toxicity, and reducing industrial stormwater pollution by investigating facilities’ compliance records and securing legally-binding agreements that bring violators into compliance with state and federal water quality requirements; improving oil-spill response policies through participating in California’s Office of Spill Prevention and Response Technical Advisory committee, and opposing the expansion of new oil refining and storage that would accommodate oil trains running along the shores of the Bay and Delta; advocating for reduced sand mining in San Francisco Bay, improved strategies for handling dredge spoils and opposing increased dredging at the Port of Stockton to avoid disturbing highly-contaminated sediments in that area; and continuing to monitor the removal and remediation of the final five ships of the Suisun Ghost Fleet.

The South Yuba River Citizens League
For the Yuba Mining- Back to the Future Project
$25,000
Region: Sierra Nevada
Supports community-based opposition to the proposed re-opening of the San Juan Ridge Mine, and data collection to ensure that surface waters in the Yuba watershed – a tributary to the Sacramento River – are not contaminated by millions of gallons of untreated mine discharge, threatening a robust fishery of fall-run Chinook salmon and the endangered spring-run Chinook. Due to unprecedented increases in the price of gold, the San Juan Ridge Mine proposes to re-open and plans to pump up to 3.5 million gallons of water out of the ground every day. The pumping will not only impact the underground aquifer that provides water to hundreds community members, but has the potential to cause serious negative impacts to surface water quality in Spring and Shady Creeks, tributaries of the South Yuba River. SYRCL’s goals include engaging and commenting in the review and permitting process, and collecting data to assess surface water quality from the creeks that drain the mine. If the mine is permitted, the project’s goal is to use this data to ensure that effective water quality controls are put in place; if the mine is not permitted, the goal is to identify alternative land uses and support mine reclamation efforts.

Watsonville Wetlands Watch
For Community Education, Outreach, and Participation to Restore Watsonville Wetlands
$25,000
Region: Central Coast
Supports Watsonville Wetlands Watch (WWW) in expanding their two major initiatives to protect 800 acres of high-quality wetlands in southern Santa Cruz County which drain into the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. Initiative One is Community Education and Outreach to students and community members of the predominantly low-income Latino agricultural community about why it is crucial to maintain and restore the Watsonville Wetlands, the role of wetlands in watershed health, and protective behaviors to support the wetlands; and to provide outreach and develop management recommendations to local landowners and businesses that neighbor wetlands in enacting conservation and environmental protection and restoration activities. Initiative Two is Wetland Restoration to restore native habitat and expand student and community direct involvement in restoring wetlands through removal of invasive species and planting native species.

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