Governor Jerry Brown has signed into law the RBOC-supported SB 704 [Galgiani] that will require the Division of Boating and Waterways (DBW) to collaborate with the California Conservation Corps (CCC), to the extent feasible, to use its corps members in implementing invasive aquatic plants control programs in the Delta, its tributaries, and the marsh.
The RBOC-supported SB 704 [Galgiani] to encourage collaboration on important state efforts to combat invasive aquatic species including water hyacinth will pass the Assembly Committee on Water, Parks and Wildlife when the committee concludes its actions today.
SB 704 would require the state Division of Boating and Waterways [DBW], to the extent feasible, to collaborate with the California Conservation Corps (CCC) in implementing its control programs for invasive aquatic plants in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, its tributaries, and Suisun Marsh.
The author's statement on the purpose of the measure:
"The California Conservation Corps is a critical and valuable state organization that provides educational and work opportunities for young adults seeking to improve and protect California’s natural resources. Currently, the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta is facing a devastating infestation of water hyacinth that clogs waterways and harms natural ecosystems. The collaboration between CCC and the Division of Boating and Waterways would help in the fight to control water hyacinth, as well as other aquatic weeds. Although contracts currently exist, this bill would codify the relationship between CCC and DBW and encourage their continued partnership."
RBOC is supporting SB 704 [Galgiani, D-Stockton], legislation that would place into law the collaboration between the Division of Boating and Waterways [DBW] and the Conservation Corps, and the use of members of the Conservation Corps in implementing its water hyacinth control programs.
RBOC concurs with Senator Galgiani that the health of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta is threatened by water hyacinth which obstructs waterways and marinas, consumes valuable water resources, creates human health and safety hazards, and damages natural ecosystems by crowding out native plants and wildlife.
DBW is the appropriate and engaged lead agency for eradicating and controlling invasive aquatic plants, and has entered into agreements with the Conservation Corps to perform work in the Delta to help control water hyacinth.
The RBOC-supported SB 223 [Galgiani] has not moved off of suspense in the Assembly Appropriations Committee and the measure is not expected to move forward this year.
This urgency bill would require the Division of Boating and Waterways within the Department of Parks and Recreation to establish an advisory committee to evaluate and monitor activities related to the management and control of invasive aquatic plants in the Delta, its tributaries, and the Suisun Marsh
Of note from the analysis of the Appropriations Committee:
“Increased potential costs of up to $290,000 (GF or Harbors and Watercraft Revolving Fund) until 2019 for the division to comply with the provisions of the bill. This costs assumes the committee created by the bill will identify new recommendations for division activities.
“However, there are two existing committees that provide input of the division's aquatic weed program. The first, in consultation with the US Department of Agriculture addresses the research, management and control of invasive aquatic plants in the Delta and Suisun Marsh.
“The second, the Interagency Aquatic Invasive Species Coordination Team takes a broad perspective on controlling and managing invasive aquatic plants in the Delta. Given the existing efforts on this subject, the costs estimated by the DPR should be viewed as a maximum with actual costs potentially much lower.”
RBOC-supported legislation SB 223 [Galgiani] that would establish an advisory and oversight committee to evaluate and monitor the activities of the Division of Boating and Waterways relating to the management and control or eradication of invasive aquatic plants will pass the Assembly Water, Parks and Wildlife Committee following today's hearing. RBOC testified in support of the bill.
The provisions of SB 223 would enhance the existing laws that designate the Division of Boating and Waterways within the Department of Parks and Recreation as the lead agency of the state for purposes of cooperating with other state, local, and federal agencies in identifying, detecting, controlling, and administering programs to manage invasive aquatic plants in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, its tributaries, and the Suisun Marsh, and that prescribes the duties of the division with regard to the management and control or eradication of those plants.
The increasing infestations of aquatic invasive plants, especially throughout the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, confirm the critical need to accomplish increased effectiveness and efficiencies. SB 223 is in furtherance of this objective.