California Proposition 68 - Parks, Environment, and Water Bond
Proposition 68 is a $4 billion bond measure to protect California’s water, parks, and natural resources, while bolstering climate adaptation, resilience, and social equity statewide. This proposition allows the state to sell General Obligation bonds for various natural resources-related programs - including $443 million to be allocated for climate adaptation and resiliency projects throughout the state. California Senate Bill 5 (De León), “California Drought, Water, Parks, Climate Coastal Protection, and Outdoor Access for All Act of 2018” put this bond measure on the June 5, 2018 ballot.
Prop 68 invests in efforts to mitigate climate intensified natural disasters like wildfire, floods and drought - by investing in local water infrastructure projects, fire protection, natural lands and forest restoration. Specifically, $765 million is dedicated to conserving and protecting natural areas, $235 million to protect bays, coast, and ocean resources, and $140 million to climate change resilience measures.
Generally, the measure includes $1.5 billion for a variety of programs intended to conserve natural habitats; improve coastal, river, and other ecosystems; and increase the resiliency of the environment to withstand the effects of climate change. The bond also provides $1.3 billion for parks and recreation projects, primarily to build or improve local parks. The other $1.3 billion will be allocated to water-related projects, such as to improve flood protections, recharge and clean up groundwater, and provide safe drinking water.
The measure requires that 15-20 percent of the bond funds to be dedicated to projects in communities with median household incomes less than 60 percent of the statewide average. In addition, the largest amount of bond revenue - $725 million - was earmarked for parks in "park-poor" neighborhoods in accordance with the Statewide Park Development and Community Revitalization Act of 2008's competitive grant program.
California’s Bay Area will receive $61 million in funding towards projects for wetlands and riparian restoration, as well as regional planning for climate change adaptation including climate and conservancy programs under the San Francisco Bay Conservancy Program. $20 million of this will be for the State Coastal Conservancy - which will be allocated to match Measure AA funds. (Passed in 2016 by the nine Bay Area counties, Measure AA generates approximately $25 million annually for wetland restoration through a $12 parcel tax.)
$142 million of Prop 68’s funds are dedicated specifically to the Sierra/Cascade Region to enhance the resilience of the region’s natural resources - with a focus on watershed restoration, improving water resources, and reducing wildfire risk. Funds will be allocated to the Sierra Nevada Conservancy, California Tahoe Conservancy and the Wildlife Conservation Board for these programs.
Publication Date: June 5, 2018
- State of California
- Biodiversity and ecosystems
- Land management and conservation
- Frontline Communities
- Water infrastructure
- Water resources
- Funding program