This $870 million investment boosts water-related resilience and environmental restoration projects in California

In April of 2022, Senators Dianne Feinstein and Alex Padilla (D-Calif.) announced that they had helped secure more than $870 million in funding for U.S. Army Corps of Engineers water-related renovation, resilience and environmental restoration projects in California over the last five months.

This will help fund water infrastructure renewal projects in California to improve flood risk management; strengthen water supply; combat sea-level rise and coastal erosion; and invest in critical port and harbor maintenance to enhance resilience.

I’m proud to announce that millions of dollars are coming to California to improve the capacity of our ports, restore natural habitats around our rivers, and provide more green space and areas for recreation,” said Senator Padilla.

This new infrastructure funding will help improve the coastal ports and inland waterways that are vital to our economy, as well as the wetlands and levees protecting communities from storm surges and catastrophic flooding,” he continued.

The funding was included in two bills, the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, which was signed into law by President Biden on November 15, 2021, and the fiscal year 2022 federal omnibus funding bill, which was enacted on March 15, 2022.

The most recent project to receive funding is the Pajaro River flood risk management project, which was awarded $67 million earlier this week from funding included in the 2021 bipartisan infrastructure law.

In the last six months, Congress has passed two bills – historic infrastructure bill and a fiscal spending bill – that will send $870 million to California for more than 90 water projects critical to flood mitigation, drought relief, habitat restoration and more,” Senator Feinstein said.

These two bills provide vital sources of funding to help counter the most dangerous effects of climate change,” she added.

The 2021 bipartisan infrastructure bill includes $233 million for California projects.

Key projects include:

  • $67 million to reduce flooding along the Pajaro River in Monterey and Santa Cruz Counties. This funding will be used to execute a project partnership agreement and initiate a project to protect homes, businesses, and agricultural land along the Pajaro River once NEPA requirements are completed;
  • $28 million for the Los Angeles River Ecosystem Restoration project to fully fund phase one of funding for Taylor Yard. This project will restore the natural and hydrological processes of the Los Angeles River in an 11-mile section from Griffith Park to downtown Los Angeles;
  • $30 million to restore dangerously eroded coastal areas in Encinitas and Solana beaches;
  • $9 million to assess the Los Angeles River channel and support dam repairs in the Los Angeles County Drainage Area. This project will help spillway expansion joint repair at Hansen Dam, assessments of Whittier Narrows Dam for future repairs, and inspection of the Los Angeles River Channel; and
  • $8 million for Port of Long Beach navigation improvements to help enhance port efficiency and ease supply chain demands.

The fiscal year 2022 federal spending bill includes $538 million for California water infrastructure projects.

Key projects include:

  • $175 million for key flood control projects in the Sacramento region. These projects located at the confluence of the Sacramento and American Rivers will protect millions of people and billions of dollars in infrastructure;
  • $220 million for critical dam safety repairs at Whittier Narrows Dam. The Whittier Narrows Dam safety project will protect an estimated 1 million Southern California residents from catastrophic flooding resulting from failure of the Whittier Narrows Dam during very rare flood events; and
  • $15 million for flood control and restoration projects in the San Joaquin River Basin.

Senator Feinstein is chairman of the Senate Energy and Water Appropriations Subcommittee, which funds the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Senator Padilla is a member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, which authorizes these critical projects.

Photo of creek in California by David Mark from Pixabay.

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