SACRAMENTO — The California Department of Conservation has awarded $2 million in first-of-their-kind grants for watershed restoration and conservation projects on agricultural lands in Marin, Sonoma, Ventura and Kings counties.
The Corcoran-based Tulare Lake RCD and co-applicant Kings River Conservation District, based in Fresno, were awarded $1,165,644 for the Kings River Conservation District Channel Improvement Project.
With this grant, the partners will remove invasive species and debris from the 2,500 acres of levees and riverbank along the Kings River, allowing efficient conveyance of flood water. Woody species cleared from the levee system will be chipped and applied as mulch, saving an estimated 1,610 tons of carbon emissions. Planting native species will provide flood protection to adjacent farmlands, help maintain river levees to protect farmland from inundation, and allow the efficient delivery of water to downstream users.
Each grant went to a different Resource Conservation District (RCD), which are locally-governed special districts. Department of Conservation provides assistance to help these districts develop a stewardship ethic promoting sustainability of the state’s natural resources.
“These grants not only support important local projects, but also advance some of Governor Newsom’s key objectives: conserving working lands and helping California reach its environmental, climate change and sustainability goals,” DOC Director David Shabazian said in a released statement.
Assemblymember Rudy Salas (D-Bakersfield) applauded the awarding of the grant for the Kings River Conservation District Channel Improvement Project.
“It is exciting to see new funding come to Kings County water projects to help improve flood protection and water flow,” Salas said. “I am looking forward to the many benefits these grants will have on our agricultural community, as well as our neighborhoods who will receive improved clean water deliveries.”
Funding for the grants came from Proposition 68, the Parks and Water Bond Act of 2018. DOC will have approximately $6.5 million available for additional grants in 2021.
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