The MOU signed on April 28 between Cal/EPA and the Resources Agency is a significant step
forward in making government more efficient when it comes to protecting, restoring and
cleaning up the state's watersheds, rivers, streams, lakes, and coast.
Required by legislation (AB 2534, Pavley, Chapter 727, Statutes of 2002) this MOU
establishes a framework for state agencies and their boards, commissions, departments,
authority, conservancies to coordinate and integrate watershed programs that manage
California's natural resources. The legislation indicates that watershed management
principles are a sound approach to restore and manage California's rivers, streams,
lakes, coastlines and lands. It also recognizes that the State needs to invest in
watershed management partnerships that use a community-based collaborative approach
to meeting the state's watershed management goals.
The MOU has two major goals:
The MOU also establishes the framework for the new Integrated
Watershed Management Program (IWMP) and the California Watershed Council.
- Improve coordination and integration of watershed policies,
funding and program implementation
- Provide advice and recommendations to the Agency Secretaries
for awarding grants for local watershed plans and projects for the benefit of local
watershed management efforts.
California Watershed Council:
The Council will provide advice and recommendations for implementation
of the MOU and Watershed Strategic Plan. The Council will be a partnership of state agencies,
the public, regional and local watershed organizations, interested federal and local
governmental agencies, tribal nations, water management groups and other organizations
working to improve the health of California's watersheds and public members. The
Council will conduct its business in an open and transparent manner.
Timelines of MOU:
The implementation of the MOU will take several years. The major focus in the first
year will be a review of existing fund programs for better coordination/integration
of program elements, improve data information access for program decision-makers and
the public, and examine any other issues identified by the Council.
This MOU is a major step undertaken by both Agencies to improve services to local
groups and communities to better manage their natural resources in a manner that
meets the needs of both State government and local priorities.
The MOU will be revised annually.