The Governor’s 2021-2022 May Revise proposal includes $1.2 billion that would allow the DOC to do important work on environmental, public safety, and quality of life issues in California.
Governor Newsom’s plan doesn’t just invest in California’s environment; it gives us a historic opportunity to use nature-based solutions to tackle California’s most pressing challenges. Some of the work DOC would do expands upon ongoing efforts to manage natural and working lands, while some would challenge us to be flexible and innovative.
The May Revise proposes $500 million in funding that would allow the department to help property owners find valuable uses for land taken out of agriculture in order to better manage groundwater use.
Drought is an unfortunate reality in California; we must plan to purposefully manage land that has been fallowed. DOC would lead a multi-agency to partner with agricultural land owners, local governments, and non-government organizations on a proposal to support flexible, long-term repurposing of lands.
It includes a $420 million over three years to fund grants to help California’s most disadvantaged communities develop locally prioritized projects that have environmental, health, and economic benefits. Known as the Transformational Climate Communities program, this initiative is administered in collaboration with the Strategic Growth Council.
The May Revise funds a proactive effort to protect air, water, and soil by permanently sealing thousands of old, deteriorating oil and gas wells. This work, with proposed funding of $200 million, will be imperative as California moves away from hydrocarbon production.
It also includes a biomass-to-hydrogen/biofuels pilot project in the Sierra Nevada that could be a win-win scenario, reducing potential fuel for forest fires and producing energy. A $50 million investment would create a facility able to convert up to 30,000 tons of forest waste that could otherwise fuel wildfires into hydrogen or other carbon-negative fuels, removing CO2 from the environment.
Another $30 million in funding is included to restore riverbanks – also known as riparian land – would result in benefits for California’s streams, rivers, and other bodies of water, as well as improved biodiversity. It is estimated that only 5-10% of California’s original riparian habitat remains today, and the rest is of degraded quality. Riparian restoration has the potential to fight climate change. This program prioritizes projects that are compatible with agricultural activity and are done in partnership with landowners and growers.
For full details on the May Revise proposal, visit ebudget.ca.gov