California SB 667 - Department of Water Resources: riverine and riparian stewardship improvements

SB 667 updates the California Water Code requiring the California Department of Water Resources (DWR) to establish a program to implement watershed-based riverine and riparian stewardship improvements through technical and financial assistance. The program will support 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.”

Existing law authorized the Urban Streams Restoration Program to support flood control and urban creek restoration measures in California cities. Through this program, DWR assists local agencies and organizations with urban creek protection, restoration, and enhancement. SB 667 expands this capacity to the watershed level, authorizing grant funds to be available for the new riverine and riparian stewardship program for increased ecological, stream management, climate, and community improvement benefits. The law also suggests that DWR can support local community needs and priorities through partnerships in disadvantaged communities - however this is not mandated.

The riverine and riparian stewardship program will be coordinated with the Urban Streams Restoration Program, fish passage improvements, and other existing programs. The law authorizes DWR to provide technical assistance, including by collaborating with other state agencies, appropriate California State University or University of California programs, or other similar programs.

Publication Date: October 6, 2017

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